UK

The humble safety pin makes an anti-racism point

A picture of a safety pin on a jacket lapel.

There have been reports of racist abuse in the UK since the referendum result.

One woman has found a simple way to show solidarity against racism - wear a safety pin.

@Cheeahs has started the hashtag #SafetyPin which has been shared nearly 30,000 times.

Angered by the stories of racism, she used Twitter to find a way of showing her frustration. She decided that a safety pin was the simplest solution.

Image copyright @cheeahs

Be part of the solution

@Cheeah's real name is Allison - she doesn't want her surname used for safety reasons. She lives in London.

Speaking to the BBC she says, "This is meant to be more than just a symbolic gesture or a way for like-minded people to pat each other on the back.

If people wear the pin and support the campaign they are saying they are prepared to be part of the solution. It could be by confronting racist behaviour, or if that is not possible at least documenting it.

More generally it is about reaching out to people and letting them know they are safe and welcome," she says.

Pictures of safety pin wearers have been shared on Twitter

Image copyright Twitter @DrAlakbarov
Image copyright Twitter @keithgrimes
Image copyright Twitter @AndyWoodturner
Image copyright Twitter @NotRollergirl
Image copyright Twitter @EmmaPass

Not everyone thinks #SafetyPin makes the right point

Image copyright Twitter @piersmorgan

@EmilyBaah asks, "Why do u need a #safetypin to show you're not racist? Surely u should just not be racist as a default setting, maybe?".

Image copyright Twitter @NasimaBee

Other Twitter users have taken sarcastic sideswipes at the campaign and the people throwing their weight behind it.

Image copyright Twitter @OffencePolice

Offensive graffiti has been scrawled at a Polish centre in London, cards reading "no more Polish vermin" have been posted through letterboxes in Cambridge and a US veteran has been called "an immigrant" and told to "get back to Africa" while on a tram in Manchester.

Allison is not from the UK - she is from New England, USA - but she considers herself an "undercover immigrant" due to the fact she is white and English speaking. "I am not a British citizen, I cannot vote but I am a part of this society. I am married to an Englishman and have lived here for six years. It is important for me to stand with others who can't go undercover."

Written by Zak Brophy, UGC & Social News Team