A rally against anti-Asian racism drew hundreds to the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday (March 28).
The gathering was organized by the Asian Canadian Equity Alliance and was spurred on by a recent shooting in Atlanta, Georgia that killed eight people at a series of spas. Six of the victims were Asian women, leading many to classify the killings as hate crimes. Prosecutors have charged a 21-year-old man with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.
The rally was also sparked by a 700 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in Vancouver amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Korean-American journalist Eileen Park Robertson, who is married to former Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, addressed the crowd during the rally. Park had received an “avalanche of anti-Asian hate” after her wedding to Robertson was featured in Vogue.
Today, Vancouver stood in solidarity with cities all over the world, denouncing Asian hate. We stood side by side with our Indigenous, Black, and marginalized communities and called out the systemic racism and oppression we continue to face.
— Eileen Park Robertson ë°•ì•„ë¦° (@EileenParkTV) March 29, 2021
After the rally, organizers said the “event was a huge success.”
Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, released a statement following the rally.
“Xiaojie Tan. Daoyou Feng. Hyun Jung Grant. Soon Chung Park. Suncha Kim. Yong Ae Yue. Paul Andre Michels. Delaina Ashley Yaun. We remember them,” Singh said.
“The shootings that took the lives of eight innocent people in Atlanta, Georgia, recently happened in the U.S., but we’re not immune to anti-Asian racism in Canada.”
Singh noted that racist measures like the head tax showed that discrimination against people of Asian descent had a long history in Canada.
In a statement, the City of Vancouver said it will “take action against racism, misogyny, criminalization of sex work, and all forms of discrimination” in the community.
“The City is defining its role and response to ongoing and systemic racism and the current rise in racist incidents. This includes publicly naming and standing against racism and hate, working with partners to do the same, and advocating for changes across all sectors of society, including our own ability to receive and respond to racist incidents.”
— çŽ›ä¸½äºš (@cucumbermaomao) March 28, 2021
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