2021 Yearend round-up for ACLA in BC

This our first full year of activities since we formally relaunched ACLA in BC last November 2020. Here is a recap to share with our members and supporters what has been accomplished and look forward to more in 2022. Throughout the events mentioned, a solid core group meets regularly to check in, assess, and make plans to further our work.

We kicked off 2021 with a Members Engagement meeting at the end of January. As a follow-up to our Meet and Greet in December 2020, this provided an opportunity to deepen our organizing relationship with ACLA in BC members. We discussed the needs of each participant, held discussions around structure and representation for Asians in the workers’ movement, broad-based solidarity within and among different Asian communities and beyond, and how racial capitalism is deepening societies inequities and pushing us to also decolonize our activism.

The ACLA in BC core also met with the leadership of ACLA Ontario. This helped organizers meet and get to know one another to help build our working relationship between the two chapters.

In March we held a broader membership meeting to share skills and identify what folks were hoping to gain from their involvement with ACLA. It also included initial planning for major activities for the year.

Spurred on by the anti-Asian, white supremacist and misogynistic murder spree of Asian women in Atlanta, U.S., and the ongoing anti-Asian attacks in our province, ACLA in BC held our first in-person event since the pandemic started. We held a Burma shave at the intersection of Main and Terminal in Vancouver, rallying between all four corners of the intersection with dozens of people participating. We also signed onto a national community statement joining our voices in outrage. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=920664815357956&id=179677642790014

In May, we, along with ACLA Ontario, endorsed the Stand With Asians Coalition that was launched this year. Another example of community collaboration was co-organizing a forum for those who ran
for leadership positions in the Canadian Labour Congress. We were happy to work with ACLA Ontario and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-Canada on this initiative.

Also, at this time one of our core members, Karine Ng, was interviewed as ACLA in BC for Chatelaine magazine. https://www.chatelaine.com/living/what-is-the-model-minority-myth/

We ended May with our Asian Heritage Month event, “Asian Canadian Artists Against Racism: an evening for resistance!” We brought together an eclectic group of progressive Asian Canadian artists, offered resources, and had fun with over 100 participants! ACLA in BC worked hard to garner material support from labour allies to ensure that all artists were valued for their contributions.

In June, one of our core members, Monica Urrutia, spoke on a panel for “Deep Fried: A Pinoy Musical! Workshop Presentation & Talk”. This musical is developing itself through community consultation. Also, we planned more meet and greet opportunities for that month. We were able to provide a brief history of ACLA in BC and have good discussions with others wanting to get more involved in community organizing.

Core members and supporters also attended the Dyke March in Vancouver as part of Pride weekend in August. We were proud to join the march with the ACLA banner in full display!

To build and deepen organizing relationships among the core, we held a summer retreat mid-August. This was our second official in-person event! Sharing food and our organizing backgrounds in Central Park was time well spent!

The Fall included regular core group meetings to help plan the following events. ACLA in BC and ACLA Ontario sponsored a free film showing again this year as part of the Canadian Labour International Film Festival and featured, “Treaty Walk: A Journey for Common Ground; The Invisible Monster; MIXI; and Do Nothing and Do it Well”.

We just held a panel on “Asian Labour: Local and Global Solidarity” on December 1. We were happy to gather 60 folks to build solidarity for and between the struggles of Indian farmworkers, domestic and care workers in BC, the Palestinian people and more. Looking back, 2021 was an eventful year — we came together to build community power and deepen intra-Asian solidarity, and we did just that. Join us for more in 2022!