Racism And Xenophobia Grip Britain After Brexit Vote

The United Kingdom is experiencing a sharp spike in race-related incidents and hate crimes following the vote for Britain to exit the EU.

Last week’s vote for Britain to exit the European Union, also known as the Brexit, not only wreaked havoc on global financial markets but also brought along a violent surge in race-related incidents and hate crimes all across the region.

Racist and xenophobic graffiti has suddenly appeared all across the United Kingdom — including on the entrance of the Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK) in west London. Although authorities since washed off the message and refrained from confirming the precise wording, many claim it read, “Go home.”

The largest population of foreign-born people living in the U.K. is from Poland.

In a similar incident, some hooligans allegedly distributed cards reading, “Leave the EU/No more Polish vermin” in English and Polish in Huntington, Cambridgeshire, mere hours after the Brexit results.

Police are currently investigating the incident.



“[Like] many Polish people in the country I feared the EU referendum result would cause an increase in intolerance, discrimination and racism, but I didn’t think it would become so aggressive and be so immediate,” Agata Brzezniak, who was born in Poland but has lived in the U.K. for eight years, told The Independent.

So far, Polish people seem to be experiencing the worst of the repercussions.




Over a hundred such incidents have been reported so far and immigrants are worried about their safety.




People with other nationalities have also been attacked:




Social media has begun documenting the incidents of racial abuse and hate crime with the hashtag #PostRefRacism — and needless to say, it’s really disturbing.

A Facebook album “Worrying Signs” is also compiling such events.




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Moreover, Muslims, and people who look remotely like them, also found themselves at the receiving end of hate and racism following the decision to exit EU.






The spike in hate crime coincides with former Conservative Party leader Baroness Warsi’s decision to campaign against the "divisive and xenophobic" Brexit movement.

“I've spent most of the weekend talking to organizations, individuals and activists who work in the area of race hate crime, who monitor hate crime, and they have shown some really disturbing early results from people being stopped in the street and saying look, we voted Leave, it's time for you to leave,” she said. “And they are saying this to individuals and families who have been here for three, four, five generations. The atmosphere on the street is not good.”

Labor MP Jess Phillips has also put forward a query to Parliament, demanding to compare the incidents of racial hatred reported over the weekend to before the referendum.



It is a terrifying situation that, unfortunately, only seems to be getting worse.

 Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters

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