A determined 10-year-old vowed to continue her fight against racism despite her Black Lives Matter banner being defaced by bigots.
Lydia Sawyer was motivated to create her antiracism banner after the death of George Floyd, wishing for everybody to be treated fairly and not according to skin colour.
She told her mum “it really sucks being brown” after her antiracism banner was destroyed by racists.
But the passionate youngster was undeterred and said she will continue to keep putting up her posters “until they hear the message.”
Eager to show her support for the BLM movement but unable to attend marches in person, Lydia spent an entire day creating the colourful banner at her home in Chilham, near Canterbury Kent.
Helped by 12-year-old brother William, she used fabric paints to write the words “Black Lives Matter” on a white sheet which her family hung outside their home on June 2.
But on Sunday, they were devastated to discover a vandal had thrown black paint at the banner attacking the young girl’s quiet contribution to the protest.
Her mum Katie Sawyer, a 51-year-old property developer, said: “We just couldn’t believe it – why would somebody do that?
“She is a little girl and she had taken all day to make that banner.
“When you consider its message, it is a double edged sword really.
“Lydia is little and she is idealistic. She wants to see a world where everybody is treated fairly and not according to their skin colour.
“With the death of George Floyd, she couldn’t believe it. We were all completely shocked.
“This was so blatant and so shocking that it has made her want to act.
“She is only ten but she certainly has political opinion. On a humanitarian level, she says ‘everybody is equal and everybody’s blood is red mummy.'”
The family believe the vandalism was planned and fear the perpetrator could live nearby.
Katie said: “The vandalism was clearly premeditated because it was done in paint.
“They’ve not walked past and ripped it down, they’ve clearly come in the night and splashed paint about.
“It’s quite scary. You think ‘is it someone who lives nearby?’
“We were flabbergasted, shocked, and feeling a bit vulnerable, wondering can we put another one up, are we supposed to take it down or are there going to be any repercussions?”
Katie was saddened by the impact the attack has had on her daughter and her feelings of being mixed race.
She added: “She said at the end of Sunday ‘it really sucks being brown’ and that really upset me.
“Never has she said something so blatant about how she knows she is considered less than others by society.
“We’ve encountered racism through her life, even at school.
“But that she would then think that us making a stand for Black Lives Matter meant that somehow there was something wrong with being brown was really upsetting.”
Hundreds of people expressed their outrage at the cowardly attack and took to social media to share words of admiration and encouragement for Lydia.
While Katie says she was initially tempted to take the banner down following the attack, her determined daughter refused to give up.
Her willpower has even encouraged others in the neighbourhood to share the message.
Katie added: “Lydia said ‘no we’re going to do this again and we’re going to make it bigger and better.
“And if they destroy it again, we’ll just keep putting them up until they hear the message.’
“Another lady in the area came and knocked on my door with her mixed race son and said she wasn’t sure whether to display a banner but she will now.”
Lydia has now designed a brand new Black Lives Matter poster, which Print Matters has offered to turn into a big PVC banner.
The family hope more residents will join in displaying the antiracism banners and have gained further support from their local firestation.
Firefighter “Joe” from Chilham Fire Station paid Lydia a visit, urging her not to give up, before donating poster-making materials and a fireman’s helmet.
Katie added: “My daughter has been utterly galvanised by the support from local people which undermines the attempts of one cowardly racist.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”