VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A rally against anti-Asian hate drew more than 1,000 people to the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Sunday.
Organizers say the event was meant to oppose discrimination against Asians and mourn the victims of the recent Atlanta shooting, six of whom were Asian women.
“Whenever there’s racism in the country, we all get angry and racism isn’t just about one community,” said former B.C. premier Ujjal Dosanjh, who attended Sunday’s rally. “It’s about what kind of country we want. So when you look at the history of Canada, what we did to the First Nations, the Chinese, Japanese, Indo-Canadians and minorities in general, and Blacks in eastern Canada, it’s important that we remember that. It’s important that we fight racism together.”
Vancouver Police data shows anti-Asian hate crimes rose from a dozen incidents in 2019 to 98 in 2020, while general hate incidents nearly doubled. Police said last year that the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes coincided with the increases in COVID-19 cases last March, but it’s unclear if the two are directly linked.
Meanwhile in the Atlanta case, Robert Aaron Long has been charged with killing eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlours. The attack has sent terror through the Asian American community, which has increasingly been targeted during the coronavirus pandemic.