People are standing against ignorance and hate in a very pointed way.
Following the historic referendum last week in which the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, incidents of racism in Britain have skyrocketed. However people across Twitter are donning safety pins as a way of showing their support for the immigrants living in the country, and assuring that they're safe with them.
"It's simple because you don't have to go out and buy it, there's no language or political slogans involved," Allison, the woman who started the #safetypin campaign and uses the Twitter handle @cheeahs, told Indy100. "It's just a little signal that shows people facing hate crimes that they're not alone and their right to be in the U.K. is supported."
Since the referendum results came out, immigrants have been on the receiving end of bigotry. On Tuesday, Juan Jasso, who's lived in the U.K. for 18 years, was the victim of such an incident. Teenagers on the train told the man to "get back to Africa," among other hateful words, and flicked alcohol at him, according to the Telegraph. And this past weekend, the Polish Social and Cultural Association was allegedly vandalized as their front door was sprayed with an offensive message, CNN noted.
There's even a social media account, PostRefRacism, which helps users document incidents of racism.
By donning safety pins, however, people of all backgrounds have been standing in solidarity with immigrants in the U.K. Some shared photos of themselves, wearing the pins on their outfits or work attire. Other Brits took the opportunity to spread messages showing immigrants that they are welcome in the country.
According to Indy100, Alison, who was horrified by the abuse that followed the referendum results, is an immigrant herself. She said that people who voted on both sides of the referendum have shown that they're disturbed by the bigotry and hate that's arisen. And while wearing a safety pin is a simple act, she hopes it'll compel people to really make a change.
"The first step is just getting it out in the open," she told the outlet. "The more people you start a conversation with, the easier it is to combat violence and abuse."
Check out more #SafetyPin tweets below.