Watch the livestream here.
Solidarity Rally Against Anti-Asian Racism
Statement of Unity
This rally takes place in what we come to call as the City of Toronto in the Dish With One Spoon Territory. We recognize our colonial histories and present-day implications to honour, protect, and sustain this land.
We are outraged and heartbroken by the horrific murders and violence in Atlanta. We grieve for the victims and their families. We stand together with Asian American and Asian Canadian women who are traumatized by this ongoing misogyny, racism, and stand against the policing and abuse of massage parlour workers and sex workers who are criminalized by the state and face discrimination by society.
We are angered by the attacks against our seniors and how they have been abused and mistreated: knocked down, punched, and verbally abused by racists across North America.
As we gather to rally, we contextualize recent experiences of COVID-19 related anti-Asian racism in a long history of systemic anti-Asian racism in Canada, including the Chinese Head Tax, Chinese Exclusion Act, The Komagata Maru Incident, Japanese Internment Camps and a racist immigration policy that continues to promote racism and exclusion. Our communities have long been ignored, erased from the Canadian narrative, and continue to demand justice. We will fight against being dehumanized, whether as “perpetual foreigners” or as a “model minority.”
We acknowledge that anti-Asian racism does not exist in a vacuum. Rather, racism towards our communities is situated in broader racism against all BIPOC communities in a framework of white supremacy. We are grateful for the support of our BIPOC families here today as we fight for racial justice. When communities are under attack, we look for answers. Rallying is one important strategy of direct action but showing up today is not enough. Sustained commitment in addressing racial injustice is critical.
What our communities need is political leadership that acts against hate and condemns scapegoating Chinese people for the COVID-19 pandemic. We need effective action against the growing online hate. We need support for the most vulnerable among us. We need genuine support for our communities, workers, and small businesses to ensure that we can recover from both the health-related pandemic and its economic consequences, and the parallel pandemic of racism.
We must ensure that support for frontline essential workers includes all workers, including many Asian workers who have faced the brunt of racism in grocery stores, restaurants, massage work, sex industry and the health sector. The government must provide support to all by providing paid sick days and ensuring migrants have access to permanent status. What we do not need is more funding for the police and further criminalization and policing of our communities.
Anti-Asian racism is one aspect of white supremacy and we are in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, Muslim and other communities of colour in our collective fight for liberation.
Organizers of Rally:
Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, Butterfly Asian Migrant Sex Workers Support Network, Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, Chinese Canadian National Council, Toronto Chapter, For A Safer Space
National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) Toronto, Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, Asian Canadian Women’s Alliance, International Women’s Day Toronto, Women Working with Immigrant Women, Chinese Workers’ Network (TYRLC), Coalition of Black Trade Unionists – Ontario, Bayan Toronto