Many of Britain’s "leave" voters — who effectively voted Britain out of the European Union on June 23 — were motivated by a desire to slow immigration into the country. Now, they're taking those feelings out on immigrants already living there.
The Independent reported over 100 hate crimes following the referendum. Video taken in Manchester revealed white youths screaming "Get back to Africa!" A conservative politician told Sky News that "the atmosphere on the street is not good."
So, one American living in England proposed a simple symbol of hope: the safety pin.
"I'd like to come up with something that can be made by anybody anywhere to pin on their jacket or coat to signify that they are an ally," a young Londoner, who goes by Allison, tweeted on June 26. "…I quite like the idea of just putting a safety pin, empty of anything else, on your coat. A literal SAFETY pin!"
She later told British publication Indy100 that she chose the safety pin because it's cheap and easily accessible, and there were "no language or political slogans involved."
"It's just a little signal that shows people facing hate crimes that they're not alone and their right to be in the UK is supported," she said.