Is Britain becoming a racist post-brexit hellhole?

Published June 29th, 2016 - 02:08 GMT
Nigel Farage headed the leave campaign and was accused of xenophobic tactics (AFP Photo / Ben Stansall)
Nigel Farage headed the leave campaign and was accused of xenophobic tactics (AFP Photo / Ben Stansall)

The UK is reeling after its people voted 52-48 to leave the European Union in a referendum on Thursday. The next weeks and months will bring a new period of uncertainty as political parties tear themselves apart and the national economy nosedives.

But for many living in the UK the news is especially scary. In the wake of the decision, racist and xenophobic incidents have apparently risen sharply – prompting speculation that the decision to drop the EU has emboldened the far right.

People took to Twitter and Facebook to share their experiences of abuse, violence and bigotry – behaviour that for some came as a shock. People of many races, nationalities and religions were affected, and Muslims in particular.

 

Some of the reported incidents involved organised protests in public spaces.

The violence was reportedly directed towards Europeans, and Polish families living in the UK felt especially vulnerable. Incidents affected families and children.

 

People articulated their hatred on social media and even by interrupting news reports taking place in the wake of the vote.

Some MPs sought to take action in Parliament, and anti-racist groups quickly started mobilising to support those affected by abuse and record what exactly is going on.

But it’s not clear whether the apparent rise in incidents could be a catalyst for change for the better – or whether things might get worse first.


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