Over the weekend of April 10, demonstrators in both Boston and Quincy protested against the wave of anti-Asian hate that has swept the nation.
Protestors gathered in the Boston Common, Chinatown, Peter’s Park, and in front of Quincy’s city hall for a call to action over the rise of hate crimes that have hit the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The demonstrations come roughly a month after Atlanta’s fatal shooting which left eight people dead, six of the victims being of Asian descent.
The rally that was held on Sunday, March 11 in Boston was led by the New England Chinese American Alliance, Chinese American Association of Lexington, and New Moon International Media Inc, along with 50 other participating organizations.
In Quincy, one rally, which was held on Saturday, March 10, was led by Quincy Asian Resources Inc., and another rally, “Stand Up, Speak Out! Pan-Asian Solidarity Rally,” held in Quincy on Saturday, March 10, was organized by Quincy For Transformative Change.
According to the Patriot Ledger and data from Stop AAPI Hate, “In the last year, Asian hate crimes have increased by 150 percent . . . Of those, 68 percent were against women." Stop AAPI Hate also received “96 reports from Massachusetts of anti-Asian hate and discrimination between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28. Nationwide, the group received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian incidents,” according to The Boston Globe.
The rally led by New England Chinese American Alliance and New Moon International Media called for schools to incorporate Asian American history and culture into the curriculum.
The rallies in Quincy called for an end to the anti-Asian hate and violence that is directed at the community. “Nearly 30,000 of the city’s [Quincy] 94,000 residents are of Asian descent, according to the most recent demographic information," according to the Patriot Ledger.
Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy, Attorney General Maura Healey, State Rep. Tackey Chan, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, and Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey were all present and spoke at the Quincy rally. At one of the rallies held in Boston, at Fields Corner, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined demonstrators.
State Rep. Tackey Chan talked about his experiences with racism in Quincy.
“I’ve lived here my entire life, since 1973, when there were very few people that looked like me, and today I see a crowd that looks more like me than ever. I’ve been told to go home. I’ve been told I’m part of an invasion. . . I’ve been told many things about keeping your place, you’re really good at math. I’m not good at math, folks.”
Multiple bills are being presented before the U.S. House of Representatives to address the violence against Asian Americans.
There is one bill that “calls on federal and local officials to investigate all reports of hate crimes and harassment against Asian Americans,” according to The Patriot Ledger.
The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, another bill being presented, “would require the Department of Justice to assign a point person to expedite the review of COVID-19 related hate crimes.”
The Teaching Asian Pacific American History act “would require Asian Pacific American history to be part of American history and civics classes.”
New England Chinese American Alliance co-chair Hua Wang spoke to the crowd at one of the Boston rallies, saying, “The American history taught in our schools is simply not complete without including the contributions, struggles, and treatment of Asian-Americans. The growing national movement to end Asian hate crimes and the youth fully embracing their Asian heritage holds hope for a bright future.”