Photo: Mei Mei, speaker from the ANSWER Coalition and PSL, talks about the connection between the U.S. war drive against China and the violence against Asian people in the U.S. Credit: Liberation photo
On April 18, around 200 people gathered in solidarity with the Asian community and demanded an end to anti-Asian violence at the “Actions Towards Change Rally: Let’s Stop AAPI Hate” in San Francisco.
The demonstration was organized by Actions Towards Change, a group of high-school students from San Francisco, in collaboration with AAPI Youth Rising. AAPI Youth Rising is a group of middle school students who organized a rally against anti-Asian racism in Berkeley, California that drew a crowd of 1,200 people the weekend prior. The ANSWER Coalition also participated in the action on April 18.
The rally was led by youth whose speeches consisted of calls to action, solidarity in organizing, and self-written poems.
Kaitlyn, one of the lead organizers, said: “[Young people] have played a huge role in this fight for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It is our turn to fight for everything our elders have been silenced about. … It is time to use our voices, stand up for ourselves, and unite to make change.”
During the demonstration, volunteers passed out whistles and alarms to Asian elders and other members of the Asian community so they can call for help if they feel unsafe. There was also a “message box” where people wrote notes of support or experiences and fears due to the rise in anti-Asian racism and Sinophobia.
Mei Mei, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition and member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, highlighted the connection between the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and bipartisan anti-Chinese propaganda. During her speech, Mei Mei stated: “U.S. leaders are spreading the war-mongering, racist lies again. This time instead about Iraq it is about China. They’re spreading lies about China in the U.S. media to manufacture our consent for war.”