Clap for Heroes 'should still go ahead' says founder targeted by online hate

The founder of Clap for Carers has distanced herself from the newly launched Clap for Heroes after being subjected to “hateful” abuse on social media.

Annemarie Plas, a 36-year-old mother of one, said that although the gossip was supposed to take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, she had decided to distance herself from the planned applause and would “no longer try to raise awareness. ” it”.

In a statement posted on the Clap for Heroes Twitter page, she said: “Since I announced the return of applause yesterday, I have been greeted by a few haters on social media with personal abuse and threats against me and my family faced.

“Regardless of their views or reasons to believe that this is acceptable behavior, I have made no commitment to make a political statement and I will not endanger my loved ones.

“I don’t have a political agenda, I’m not a government employee, I don’t work in PR, I’m just an average mother at home trying to cope with the lockdown situation.”

The return of the weekly ritual has received mixed reactions online. Some NHS staff asked people not to clap and just stay home.

Ami Jones, an intensive care counselor from Wales, tweeted in response to the announcement of the revitalized clap, “No thanks. I’d rather you follow the rules, stay home, wear masks and wash your hands.”

Palliative care practitioner Rachel Clarke added, “Please don’t clap inside us. Just wear a mask, wash your hands, and respect the lockdown.”

Another tweeted: “Clap for Carers has become Clap for Heroes and they are waiting for us on our doorstep again this week. I won’t clap. Not because I don’t respect the NHS – I do – but because I’m tired of empty gestures, when the NHS lacks both staff and equipment. “

And one commented, “Clapping for supervisors is apparently going to be another thing. I’d much rather see them all get a raise than a clap.”

Ms. Plas, a Dutch national who lives in south London, said the tradition was never intended to be a “political platform”.

The statement continued: “The idea of ​​bringing back the applause was only to give the country optimism and assertiveness, and not to make any political comment on the state of the nation.

“It was never my or Clap For Our Carers / Clap For Heroes’ intention to stand up for the government or to suggest that gossip be a substitute for anything else.

“If people want to make a statement about the world we live in or have a desire to bring about changes in our systems, there are ways to do so.”

“I would be happy if other people, speaking over the applause, open the dialogue and debate and give them a voice and impetus to discuss and have positive conversations and action on broader, related issues.”

She said she recognized the frustrations and anger of some, but her personal defamation was “destructive and counterintuitive”.

“It can and should still happen at 8 p.m. tonight if you decide and want to clap individually and personally for your heroes. It is up to each person to decide how relevant or rewarding it is for them to take part,” she said.

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