The Consulate of South Korea in Montreal, Canada released a warning to people of East Asian descent after two Koreans were attacked on two different occasions over the weekend amid the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
In its warning in Korean, it advised those of East Asian descent to be cautious and report any incidents to the consulate, according to CTV News. The announcement follows two attacks that happened on Sunday morning and evening.
In the first attack, a 44-year-old man was stabbed while walking on Décarie Blvd. near De Maisonneuve Blvd. W. around 11:40 a.m., Montreal Gazette reported. Montreal police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant stated that the victim’s life was not considered to be in danger.
That same day, a man in his 20s was found in critical condition on Ste-Catherine St. W. near Guy St. and was immediately rushed to the hospital. According to Brabant, a possible altercation occurred between the victim and several suspects.
In addition to the attack, GaNaDaRa, a Korean restaurant, was also hit with robberies twice in the last month. The restaurant’s Instagram page posted a photo showing its windows smashed.
It’s unclear if the incident was racially motivated, but those in the community expressed concerns that it could be. CTV News reported that the Korean community in Montreal feels anxiety and stress with all the attacks. Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said in an afternoon press briefing that hateful acts, angry comments and racism only serve to divide the community at a time when we need to stay united.
“Ultimately, the virus is not connected to any specific community,” Plante said. “I don’t think we can target. I don’t think it would be relevant. I’m really asking people to very be cautious of their actions, their words, what they’re writing online on social media that is absolutely not helpful at this point. We’re all in this together and it’s not about your race or gender or the language you talk.”
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