Here’s the powerful reason people are wearing safety pins on their clothes today

Since Donald Trump’s election as president this week, acts of violence against minorities have become increasingly (and terrifyingly) common. To show their solidarity with victims, some people are wearing safety pins to send a silent message that anyone being persecuted is “safe” with them. It’s a beautiful, simple gesture that offers some comfort in a bleak moment.

Activists in the U.S. took inspiration from Britons who began wearing safety pins on their clothing after the Brexit vote in June. Persecution of minorities and immigrants began in the U.K. after the “Leave” side of the Brexit referendum campaigned on a nationalist, anti-immigrant platform. When Britain ultimately voted to leave the E.U., many people felt emboldened to commit hate crimes (not unlike what’s going on now right here at home).

To combat the violence, Twitter user @cheeahs proposed a safety pin campaign to show persecuted Brits and British immigrants that they were not alone.

The hashtag #safetypin began trending on Twitter in the U.K. right away, and many Britons took up the charge. The campaign is spreading like wildfire here in the U.S., too, as people look for practical ways to express their dismay at the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Instagram user Rae Hoekstra of Ann Arbor, Michigan summed up the reason she’s wearing a safety pin in a post this week, writing, “Hate speech and acts of hatred are never OK. We MUST speak out against hatred!”

Now please excuse us while we go and safety pin all of our clothing.

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