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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Active citizenship targets the Leave campaign

We are always being encouraged to report hate crimes when we come across them so kudos to the 39,800 people who have lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Nigel Farage incited racial and religious hatred during the European Union referendum campaign.

The tone and content of the Leave campaign's propaganda was not just offensive it was dangerous and insulting to the many immigrants who actively work within their local communities and contribute to this country's economy.

As the Independent reports figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council earlier this month show a 42 per cent spike in race and religious hate crimes during and in the wake of the EU referendum campaign.

The so-called “Breaking Point” poster, unveiled by Mr Farage on the morning of 16 June, depicted Syrian refugees crossing a border in central Europe, thousands of miles from the UK. Critics noted that it only depicted ethnic minorities and that its text appeared to equate the EU with immigration from the Middle East.

The paper says that campaign rhetoric referenced in the police complaint include such reported statements by Mr Farage as:

Incidents of hate crimes reported on social media since the reported hate crime surge began tend to involve members of the public telling people speaking foreign languages – or simply people who are not white – to “leave” or “go home”.

Others involve racist anti-immigrant graffiti, such as that daubed on the Polish cultural centre in Hammersmith, west London.

This complaint is active citizenship at its best and I hope that the police act on it so we can draw a line as to what is acceptable and what is not in public discourse.
Does this mean that Farage could be prosecuted?
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