A member of the public spoke of their anger and disgust after stickers welcoming refugees and anti-fascist in nature were vandalised on several lampposts in Walthamstow.

The individual spotted the vandalism when out walking over the Bank Holiday weekend along Coppermill Lane – the first vandalised sticker found appeared just past Rensburg road, showed a ‘Refugees Welcome’ sticker vandalised in black marker pen to read ‘Refugees Not Welcome’. They removed the racist vandalism upon closer inspection.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, they described seeing anti-fascist stickers marked with black crosses through the logos in a similar-sized tip, as another ‘Refugees Welcome’ sticker bore similar markings before someone(s) aggressively scratched out the family in the logo.

The witness believed the vandalism was carried out by the same individual(s) given the nature of the handwriting and use of marker pen.

The manner of the vandalism ‘alarmed’ them, given the anger directed the depiction of a refugee family when scratched out so aggressively – stressing their belief that those responsible felt emboldened by the political climate and rhetoric of some politicians and wanting to target vulnerable refugees and those opposed to racism and fascism.

As they walked further down Coppermill Lane, a sticker reading ‘No One Is Illegal’ had been scratched out, though other pro-refugee stickers remained or appeared after that.

After giving Tell MAMA permission to post their photographs, they believed the vandalism was recent, owing to the arrival of Afghan refugees.

Tell MAMA has long highlighted examples of racist and neo-Nazi stickers targeting Muslims, refugees, and other minorities.

We have flagged the racist vandalism of the sticker welcoming refugees to the Metropolitan Police.

More broadly, for those wishing to do so, there are many resources and articles dedicated to assisting Afghan refugees and showing solidarity, with helpful advice available for those wanting to help refugees about the practicalities and avoiding potential pitfalls when donating to small charities. For example, Bridgette Chapman, who works for a refugee charity in Kent, wrote: “Rather than contact overstretched charities to ask what’s needed, try taking a look at their website and social media to see if there are any specific requests.”

Tell MAMA extends their gratitude to the upstander who safely removed the sticker they came across.

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