Hundreds of hate attacks recorded in US since election

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Protesters chant "not my president" in New York cityImage source, Getty Images
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Protesters chant "not my president" in New York City

A US hate-attack monitoring group has documented 437 cases of intimidation and abuse towards minorities since the general election a week ago.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) told the BBC that evidence of a nationwide surge in such incidents is "anecdotal but not a fantasy".

The nonprofit group said many of the attacks were linked to supporters of President-elect Donald Trump.

It comes after the FBI reported a 67% rise in anti-Muslim bigotry last year.

Senior SPLC fellow Mark Potok said it has created an online form for victims to report hate attacks.

It added that it was also monitoring social media and news reports of hate incidents.

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Protests continue outside of Trump properties

The group said its new tracking method had found "on an anecdotal level [the increase in hate attacks] has been obvious".

"An awful lot of these crimes are directly linked to the Trump campaign in the sense that graffiti was left or words were shouted that directly invoked Trump," Mr Potok added.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has also been critical of Mr Trump's decision to appoint a right-wing media executive to the role of chief White House strategist.

The group accused Stephen Bannon of being "the main driver behind Breitbart [News] becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill".

Nevada Senator Harry Reid took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to cite the SPLC figures.

He said Mr Trump's election had "sparked a rise in hate crimes and threats of violence".

He added that "overwhelmingly the hateful acts are anti-Muslim, anti-Hispanic, anti-African American, anti-woman, anti-LGBT, anti-Semitic and anti-Asian".

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Attorney General has set up a hotline for citizens "to report bias-motivated threats, harassment, and violence".

Maura Healey, an openly gay Democrat, took action after reading reports from around the country of "conduct that imperils safety and civil rights".

The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, has also established a statewide hotline due to an "uptick in recent reports of discrimination, bias-motivated threats, harassment and violence".

"Any acts of discrimination or intimidation will be met with the full force of the law," the governor said in a statement.

Canada crimes

Hate crimes were also being reported north of the border in Canada, although it is not clear if they have anything to do with the US election.

The Toronto Police hate crimes unit is investigating after signs urging people to join the "alt-right" were posted around town.

The posters began "Hey, white person" and directed people to join white nationalist groups.

In Ottawa police are also investigating after a swastika was spray painted on the door of a local Jewish community centre.