Manchester

Levenshulme neighbours chalk flowers over swastikas

Chalk drawings over 'vile' graffiti
Image caption The local residents drew rainbows, flowers and hearts over the graffiti

A group of neighbours have responded "vile and cowardly" graffiti daubed on pavements near their homes by covering it with colourful chalk drawings.

Swastikas and National Front symbols were found on streets near Madina Mosque in Levenshulme earlier.

Helen Power, who lives nearby, issued a "call to action" on Twitter to "show the world we don't stand for this".

As a result, local families took to the streets to chalk over the images with houses, flowers and rainbows.

Image caption One swastika was turned into a house

Using the hashtag #levnothate, the group spread their positive message across social media.

Audrey Meade, who joined in, said a neighbour had come onto the street and "she was almost in tears, because we're not used to that sort of thing here".

She said the chalk drawings were "a gut reaction to show this is not us, this is not what we believe and we're better than this as a community".

Image caption Another of the swastikas was turned into a flower

Manchester City Council deputy leader Nigel Murphy said painting the original symbols had been "a vile and cowardly act... not just on the communities in which they took place, but on all Mancunians".

"The National Front has thankfully been consigned to the dustbin of history, but the memory of the hate they fermented will still be fresh in the minds of many people of this city," he said.

"We have come so far in recent years to become a more open and tolerant society but acts such as this remind us there is still work to be done."

Greater Manchester Police said they were investigating the original graffiti.

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