Dozens marched from Edmonton City Hall to Chinatown in a show of action against anti-Asian racism

Dozens of people marched from Edmonton City Hall to Chinatown Sunday to draw attention to what they say is a growing problem.

“It’s a response to some of the racism we’ve seen across the country,” Chinatown Transformation Collaborative Society chair Hon Leong said.

“In 2020 there were recent statistics that show an increase of 301 per cent in hate crimes directed towards Asians in particular.”

Read more: Edmonton’s Chinatown community fed up with crime, vandalism: ‘Nobody feels safe’

“Unfortunately, it’s absolutely something that we see in Edmonton against members of our community who are Asian and many other races as well,” Anne Stevenson, Coun. for Ward O-day’min, added.

Organizers noted that anti-Asian racism is an issue that has only been amplified throughout the pandemic, and added that many instances have not been reported.

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“Because of the Asian culture, the idea of staying quiet and being the model minority, we haven’t been saying much,” a supporter of the rally Gina Wong said.

Quentin Lau, another Edmontonian present at the march Sunday, said he’s been a target of racism on several occasions and admits it’s not easy to tell others.

“It’s tough sometimes,” Lau said. “For someone born and raised here and trying my best to fit into society but continue to be treated differently.”

Lau and others at the rally said they are fed up with being quiet.

“My desire to be here today is to be loud, be proud and to say that this is a huge issue,” Wong said.

This is an issue Coun. Stevenson said is on the city’s radar, adding May 10 is the National Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism.

“It’s a multi-faceted issue that we need to be continuously working on,” Stevenson said.

Read more: Edmonton’s Chinatown Business Association concerned over Boyle Street shelter building move

Some people at the rally are pleased the city is taking their concerns seriously but added that government policy can only do so much.

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“This is a step in the right direction you could say,” Lau said. “I don’t expect one event to solve everything but it’s that continual work to raise awareness.”

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