November 17, 2016: Many Americans are wearing a safety pin to show their support for people who are victims of harassment. The women who started the movement in London, Allison, said, “I used the safety pin because it costs nothing and has no political affiliation. The safety pin that comes to the rescue in times of sartorial crisis has quickly joined that notion to represent safety, a safe place and ally ship.”
Following the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, many incidents of harassment and hate-based intimidation have been reported. This violence is mainly targeted towards people of religious and racial minorities, especially the LGBT community.
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“I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, stop it. If it – if it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras, stop it,” said Trump in an interview with CBS News’ 60 minutes.
Wearing safety-pin is an act of silent activism against Donald Trump. However, some people have mocked the pin and said it was nothing more than a “diaper” pin. In an interview with AP, Johanna Dickson said, “Wearing the pin means nothing if I don’t do everything in my power to make sure the people I’m wearing it for are not harmed or disenfranchised.”
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The idea of using a safety pin for a social activism is not new. Safety pin was hijacked long ago to be used as a political symbol. It is not just used to fasten things together but also binds together attitudes and ideologies.
People used safety pins for holding their torn and shabby clothes together. They didn’t have any money to buy new clothes. But instead of hiding the pins, people decided to go out wearing the pin. They were not ashamed to show others that they were dealing with poverty, thus mocking the system that treated them with disdain.
In India, there has been an increase in the number of targeted attacks on ethnic and religious minorities and immigrants in the past two years. Also, the restrictions on intellectuals and thinkers, clamp down on the progressive organizations and intolerance have suggested that it is high time when India requires a silent communication of solidarity. A professor at DU, Nalini Sundar was accused of the murder of a tribal man. Transgender Tara died under suspicious circumstances.
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Maybe, what we need right now is a silent communication of Unity and Harmony. We need to be there for ourselves and for each other. The safety pins not only supports security and harmony but also authority and freedom. We need to go beyond the wearing. We need to raise our voice against the violence and act against these attacks.
Safety-pin can be the symbol for the silent activism but only an action will help create a better and a safer world.
– Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53