“This is a very important action,” said Satya Moha Patra to a crowd of about 50 people on the sidewalk outside Burnside park. Similar actions were taking place in more than 60 cities across the United States. “Call it what it is, a hate crime. Stop anti-Asian violence. Stop China bashing.”
The action was in response to the the horrific murder of eight people in Atlanta on March 16. The misogynistic attack left six Asian women dead.
“The ANSWER Coalition stands with the Asian community in the midst of horrific , racist and misogynistic massacre that took place in Atlanta,” continued Moha Patra. “The alarming rise in hate crimes over the past year correlates to an increasingly hostile United States foreign policy towards China. The opportunistic scapegoating of China during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the intensity by which China is deemed the enemy and adversary of the United States, has driven a widespread Sinophobic sentiment nationally. The Asian American community suffers the brunt of the hatred fomented as a weapon of war. To date, there have been 3,800 self-reported hate crimes against Asian Americans.”
The ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is a United States–based protest umbrella group consisting of many antiwar and civil rights organizations.
“As of this writing, local authorities and mainstream media refuse to label this a hate crime. Four of the victims were of Korean descent, and according to South Korean news site Chosun, the shooter was heard saying ‘I’m going to kill all Asians,'” said Yesenia, reading a statement from the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), of which she is a member. “The alarming rise of white supremacy and fascism cannot be overstated. Nearly three out of every four mass shootings can be linked back to right-wing extremism. Contrary to the misleading trope of Asian-Black conflict, community organizers have rejected this attempt to divide Black and Asian communities. We understand that the inextricable link between white supremacy, patriarchy, racism and the war drive is the root cause of this violent atrocity.”
“The mainstream media, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, those people who rule this country, are leaving out the crucial factor here,” said Nino Brown from the ANSWER Coalition. “That anti-Asian bigotry and racism is being magnified, is being multiplied, is being deepened and expanded because the United States is on a war drive with China…”
“We have seen attacks on many Asian countries throughout our history,” said Enrique Sanchez, a public school teacher, community organizer and working class Mexican American. “From 1898, the Chinese Exclusion Act, to 1945, the Japanese internment camps, the the treatment of the Koreans and Vietnamese during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, all the way, as the anti-China sentiment has been accelerated, not only by the Republicans under Donald Trump, but also by Joe Biden and the current Democratic party.”
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“Anti-Chinese rhetoric and anti-Asian rhetoric is a deliberate tactic of the United States ruling class,” said Satya Moha Patra, returning to the microphone. “The capitalist class, which fears Chinese competition, knows it needs to indoctrinate the working class with racist ideology because it will be essential in the inevitable conflict with China.”
The rally lasted about one hour.