A rally opposing discrimination against Asian communities and to mourn the victims of and all those affected by the Atlanta shootings takes place this weekend in Vancouver.
Organized by the Asian Canadian Equity Alliance (ACEA), a non-profit organization, the Stop Asian Hate rally takes place Sunday (March 28) at 2 p.m. at the entrance to the Vancouver Art Gallery.
All attendees must wear a mask and maintain social distance
The ACEA calls on "all sectors of Canadian society to be vigilant against racism." In a Facebook post, the organization writes, "As Asian Canadians, we have experienced a surge of hateful violence recently."
The protest will be carried out simultaneously across Canada, including the Tri-Cities, Kelowna, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and others.
"Please join us in speaking up and taking up space, to create a safe and fair social environment for everyone in Canada," adds the ACEA.
Asian Americans grieve, organize in wake of Atlanta attacks
Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fuelled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with killing eight people, most of them Asian women, at three Atlanta-area massage businesses.
Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders turned to social media to air their anger, sadness, fear and hopelessness. The hashtag #StopAsianHate was a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings Tuesday evening.
“I think the reason why people are feeling so hopeless is because Asian Americans have been ringing the bell on this issue for so long. ... We’ve been raising the red flag,” said Aisha Yaqoob Mahmood, executive director of the Atlanta-based Asian American Advocacy Fund, which does political and advocacy work across Georgia.
Many also were outraged that the suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, was not immediately charged with hate crimes. Authorities said Long told them the attack was not racially motivated and claimed that he targeted the spas because of sex addiction. Six of the seven slain women were of Asian descent.
With files from the Canadian Press.