Far-right tricked into wearing pro-diversity t-shirts for St George’s Day

Far-right pranked into wearing pro-diversity t-shirts for St George’s Day. Photograph: Tell MAMA.

Far-right pranked into wearing pro-diversity t-shirts for St Georges Day. Photograph: Tell MAMA. - Credit: Archant

An anti-hate group has tricked far-right protesters into wearing t-shirts that triggered a hidden message when they are worn.

The pro-diversity group Tell MAMA handed out 100 free tops, which was designed with a St George's cross, to those attending nationalist demonstrations ahead of St George's Day.

The t-shirts were advertised as patriotic t-shirts, but actually pointed out that 'St George was Syrian' when worn.

The heat-activated message included the hashtag '#DefendDiversity'.

A spokesperson for the charity Tell MAMA said: 'The St George's cross has become an icon of far-right xenophobia. Somewhat ironic considering St George had Syrian, Greek, Turkish and Israeli heritage.

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'We distributed t-shirts to far-right nationalists celebrating St. George's Day. When they proudly donned their new t-shirts, little did they know that their body heat triggered the message to appear.

'The prank was executed at St. George's Day gatherings across London to champion the vital role that immigrants play in shaping our nation and to tackle the dramatic growth of far-right hate. According to a Home Office report, in 2017/18 there were 94,098 hate crime offences recorded by the police in England and Wales, an increase of 17 per cent compared with the previous year.'

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Iman Atta OBE, Director of Tell MAMA, added: 'In light of the recent surge in division and hate crime, we wanted to reclaim the St. George's Cross from those who spread division and celebrate it as a symbol of diversity.

'Migrants have shaped our country, from St George to present day heroes like Mo Farrah, Rita Ora, Malala Yousafzai and Dame Zaha Hadid. Fly the flag for diversity this St George's Day.'

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