Hundreds of rally in San Jose in support of Asians and Pacific islanders in attacks – CBS San Francisco
SAN JOSE (KPIX) – A rally in San Jose on Saturday morning drew hundreds from across South Bay to denounce attacks on Asian residents. Now there is increasing demand for Asian and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) to stop remaining silent.
As the sound of taiko drums thundered across San Jose City Hall, the drums of change were in the air too. Given that Asians and islanders in the Pacific are exposed to racially motivated violent attacks, it is clear that the cultural ethos of silence does them no good.
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“I heard these comments as a young immigrant about 40 years ago,” said Phan Ngo, Sunnyvale police chief. “Do you speak English, you damned foreigner!” Go home again! ‘”
Saturday’s rally was hosted by Rep. Evan Low (D-Campbell), Pam Foley, San Jose City Councilor, and the Asian Americans for Community Involvement, a Santa Clara County-based nonprofit that serves marginalized ethnic communities. Similar rallies have been held in Oakland and San Francisco in recent weeks.
Stop AAPI Hate, a San Francisco-based coalition dealing with nationwide anti-Asian discrimination, received more than 2,800 first-hand reports of discrimination and abuse against Asian Americans between March 19 and December 31, 2020.
The group says anti-Asian discrimination has increased over the past year, largely due to the lie that Asian Americans are responsible for the spread of COVID-19.
San Francisco-based Jasmine Nguyen, who attended the rally on Saturday, said her Asian grandmother was berated more than once by strangers while she was walking.
“I think seeing the reality of what can happen to these hate crimes is very worrying, especially given that many of the elders attacked look like my family,” said Nguyen.
I always thought – a significant fear – that one day we too would march for the lives of the islanders in the Asia-Pacific region and that this fear was unfortunately recognized, ”said Rep. Low.
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“The first time I saw an Asian elder get pushed into the news, I was completely petrified and shocked,” 13-year-old activist Ashlyn So told the crowd. “How could that happen in our society? This is America, why did this happen? “
More than two hundred people attended the rally on Saturday, including law enforcement officials, prosecutors and elected officials from local, state and federal governments. Spokespersons for speakers representing communities across South Bay stood up to denounce the rise in hate crimes, including Jonathan Becker, president of San Jose Sharks, and Al Guido, president of 49ers.
“There have been more than 3,000 hate crimes against AAPI since this pandemic began,” said Guido. “Guys, this has to stop.”
Many believe racist hysteria about the coronavirus is to blame, but Max Leung formed an Asian security patrol group called “SF Peace Collective” more than a year ago before the virus became politicized.
“This is not a new problem, it happened,” said Leung. “This didn’t start because of COVID-induced xenophobia, although it made it worse. But this is nothing new either, ”said Leung.
The San Jose Police Department has launched a “Safe Place” initiative that allows companies to post signs in their windows giving victims refuge and a safe place to call the police.
“That’s what it’s about,” said SJPD Sgt. Ken Tran. “Get the news out to let people know it’s okay to report these incidents.”
Officials hope this can convince people who have been taught to remain silent to speak up and that there are many people willing to hear them.
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