VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Dozens of small rallies are being held across the Lower Mainland on Monday, all aimed at curbing a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
The idea comes from Doris Mah of Burnaby, who was inspired to speak out after hearing from a woman in her neighbourhood who was recently harassed at a grocery store.
“The purpose of the rally is basically to raise the awareness of the anti-Asian racism that is surging right now in Vancouver,” said Mah, co-founder of the Stand With Asians Coalition.
But Mah says the goal isn’t to just stop anti-Asian hate. It’s also about addressing what she calls “bystander silence.”
“I’ve seen a lot of video footage where there are a lot of seniors who are being pushed and shoved around and people were just standing by and not doing anything about it,” she explained. “Bystander silence is a huge problem and I really feel that this is the moral thing to do: You see someone in trouble or in need and you should just jump in and help out. And of course, you have to assess the situation.”
Mah says she’s received a lot of support in the 3.5 weeks since the idea came about.
“It’s gone viral,” she said, adding recent statistics and an incident near her home prompted her to take action.
“This is when I started the proclamations. So I started in Burnaby and I emailed a couple of my friends in different parts of Vancouver, and B.C., and Toronto, and Ottawa, and we all came together to say, ‘Hey, let’s just all do something together and put May 10 as the day of action,” she explained, adding she received a good response to her emails.
The rallies come amid an uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes.
Events are set to be held across the country and will be physically distant, with attendees reminded to follow COVID-19 orders.
The rally in Vancouver is set to get underway outside the Broadway-City Hall Canada Line station at 5:30 p.m.
-With files from Mike Lloyd