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Protests & Demonstrations

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Dozens of protesters march against Seattle’s planned homeless shelter near International District

seattle homeless shelter
  • Approximately 100 protesters flocked to Seattle City Hall to express concerns that a planned homeless shelter in the SODO neighborhood will be situated very close to the International District, which is composed of Chinatown, Little Saigon and Japantown.
  • The planned construction involves the preservation of the existing Salvation Army shelter in SODO and improvements on its current 270-person capacity to add accommodations for 150 people in the form of micro-modular units, or tiny homes.
  • Entrepreneur Tanya Woo, who is also a member of the Friends of Seattle Chinatown-International District, said: “We are most disappointed in the lack of transparency, lack of outreach, and engagement with the community. It follows the history of forced policies onto our community, which we had no input in.”
  • Woo also expressed the need for proper outreach and engagement with the community during the City Council meeting.

Protesters gathered at Seattle City Hall on Tuesday to condemn the construction of a homeless shelter in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon.

About 100 people congregated outside the government building and expressed concerns that the planned shelter will be situated very close to the International District, which is composed of Chinatown, Little Saigon and Japantown.

SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade: AAPI Democratic lawmakers speak out on ruling; Republicans silent

  • Asian American Democratic lawmakers condemned the Supreme Court’s official overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday, noting that now is the time for action.
  • With the ruling, access to abortions is no longer guaranteed on a federal level, giving states the right by default to dictate reproductive healthcare.
  • The news did not come as a surprise to some considering a leaked draft of the decision was widely circulated in early May.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a roundtable yesterday with state attorneys general, posting on her Twitter that “we need every federal, state, and local leader working to protect reproductive health care access.”
  • Other Democratic lawmakers, such as Rep. Grace Meng (D, NY-6) and Rep. Andy Kim (D, NJ-3), echoed similar outrage for the overturning of half a century’s precedent on reproductive rights.

Asian American Democratic lawmakers condemned the Supreme Court’s official overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday, noting that now is the time for action.

With the ruling, access to abortions is no longer guaranteed on a federal level, giving states the right by default to dictate reproductive healthcare. 

California man charged for driving through Stop Asian Hate rally, yelling racial slurs

  • Steve Lee Dominguez, 56, was arrested on federal charges on Thursday for disrupting a Stop Asian Hate rally and yelling anti-Asian slurs in Diamond Bar, California.
  • He reportedly ran a red light on March 21, 2021, and drove through about a dozen people who carried signs with messages such as “Stop Asian Hate” and “End the Violence Against Asians.”
  • Dominguez’s indictment accused him of yelling “F*ck China!” and “Go back to China!” at the protesters.
  • He was also accused of contacting the authorities after the incident to falsely report that protesters blocked the street, forcing him to run a red light “because they were about to trample my car.”
  • Dominguez is facing two counts of bias-motivated interference with federal protected activities. If convicted of his charges, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

A man who drove through a Stop Asian Hate rally and yelled anti-Asian slurs in Diamond Bar, California, more than a year ago was arrested on federal charges on Thursday.

Steve Lee Dominguez, 56, is facing two counts of bias-motivated interference with federal protected activities. He reportedly ran a red light on March 21, 2021, to block protesters and scream racial slurs at them.

Olivia Rodrigo voices support for abortion rights: ‘Our bodies should never be in the hands of politicians’

Olivia Rodrigo abortion rights
  • In the wake of the recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in favor of overturning the 1973 landmark decision on Roe v. Wade, pop star Olivia Rodrigo spoke out in support of abortion rights during her concert in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night.
  • “Our bodies should never be in the hands of politicians,” Rodrigo said. “I hope we can raise our voices to protect our right to have a safe abortion, which is a right that so many people before us have worked so hard to get.”
  • Rodrigo is one of the latest celebrities to use their platform to advocate for abortion rights, following George Takei, Olivia Munn and many others.

Filipino American pop star Olivia Rodrigo spoke out in support of abortion rights during her concert in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night.

In the wake of the recently leaked Supreme Court documents in favor of overturning the 1973 landmark decision on Roe v. Wade, the singer-songwriter took a moment to advocate for the right to legal abortion while on stage for her “Sour” tour on Wednesday night. 

‘This Asian face’: The artist behind the #StopAsianHate illustrations

Jonathan Chang
  • Jonathan Chang, a Taiwanese designer and illustrator based in Los Angeles, is the creator behind iconic portraits of anti-Asian hate crime victims that were shown on billboards in Times Square during Michelle Go’s candlelight vigil.
  • The illustrator says he wanted to honor his subjects while raising awareness about the violence AAPI communities have recently faced.
  • He continues to document the Asian lives lost due to racism and hate. His viral portraits of many victims (deceased and surviving) can be seen in rallies and all across social media and publications.
  • “I hope people can focus on the victims and know that these are all real people, and it could have been any one of us,” Chang said.

As the only Asian kid in class, a young Jonathan Chang, who had immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan at the age of 3, felt out of place.

At 10 years old, he figured that slowly replacing parts of himself would make him less different. When he couldn’t understand the cartoons shown on American television, his frustration pushed him to spend more time watching them. He would watch “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” over and over until English words rolled off of his tongue like it was his first. 

Sydney activist sparks outrage over ‘F*ck Xi Jinping’ sign in Asian market

DREW_PAVLOU
  • Drew Pavlou, a 20-year-old activist running for Queensland’s Senate, incensed crowds at a shopping area in Sydney when he showed up with a “F*ck Xi Jinping” sign on Saturday.
  • Video from the daring stunt shows at least three people yelling expletives at Pavlou, who claimed that the situation had escalated to an assault.
  • Chris De Bruyne, who goes by the moniker Chriscoveries online, a protest journalist covering the scene, was put in a “bear hug” by members of the crowd, as seen in the video.
  • Pavlou said New South Wales police are planning to charge him over the incident but claimed that he still does not know what he’s being charged with.
  • The NSW Council of Civil Liberties, one of Australia’s top human rights organizations, said using the word “f*ck” in a political statement is not considered offensive.

An Australian activist running for a Senate seat in Queensland triggered chaos when he showed up with a “F*ck Xi Jinping” sign at a shopping strip in Sydney’s northwest on Saturday.

Drew Pavlou, 20, who leads the Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance, quickly drew an angry crowd at the predominantly-Asian area, as seen in a 49-second video posted on Twitter.

Chinatown residents protest proposed casino site in downtown Chicago

Chicago Chinatown protest
  • Chinatown residents gathered on Sunday to protest against one of three proposed sites for downtown Chicago’s first integrated casino resort.
  • A Chinatown health organization said that a poll indicated most residents do not want a casino in their neighborhood.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced three developer finalists in March, which include Hard Rock’s $1.7 billion bid near Soldier Field, Bally’s Corporation’s $1.8 billion bid at the Chicago Tribune publishing site and Rush Street Gaming’s Rivers 78 proposal of a $1.62 billion casino just north of Chinatown.
  • “Most of the people, they feel concerned,” Dr. Hong Liu of the Midwest Asian Health Association said. “They don’t feel comfortable to have a casino near Chinatown which may damage the community’s safety and increase the addiction problem.”
  • Lightfoot, who has stressed the potential benefits of the casino for taxpayers and police pension funds, said the winner will be chosen no later than June.

Chinatown residents gathered on Sunday to protest against one of three proposed sites for downtown Chicago’s first integrated casino resort.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced in March the three developer finalists, which include Hard Rock’s $1.7 billion bid near Soldier Field, Bally’s Corporation’s $1.8 billion bid at the Chicago Tribune publishing site and Rush Street Gaming’s Rivers 78 proposal of a $1.62 billion casino just north of Chinatown.

AAPI groups protest outside Democrat Jay Chen’s office over his remark on Rep. Michelle Steel’s accent

Jay Chen Michelle Steel
  • The founder of nonprofit group AAPI United, James Mai, marched with about 50 people, including representatives from 46 other AAPI advocacy groups, to California Democratic House candidate Jay Chen’s office last week.
  • Chen made headlines after Republicans seized on a 14-second video of him purportedly mocking his opponent Rep. Michelle Steel’s (R-Cal. 48th District) accent was posted on YouTube on April 13.
  • “Jay Chen has single-handedly mobilized a community of voters that are passionate about ensuring he never sees an office with his name on it in the halls of Congress,” RNC Spokesperson Hallie Balch said in a statement. “He can keep spewing unapologetic hate; Congresswoman Steel’s community will continue to show up for her and her proven leadership.”
  • Chen denied mocking Steel’s accent in an op-ed published on Monday.
  • Korean American Orange County Council member Tammy Kim said in a statement defending Chen: “Michelle Steel sat silently while Trump denigrated our AAPI community, yet did not hesitate to falsely attack Jay Chen, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, for political gain."

AAPI United organized a protest involving representatives from 46 other AAPI advocacy groups outside the office of California Democratic House candidate Jay Chen for purportedly mocking Rep. Michelle Steel’s (R, CA-45) accent in a video a few weeks ago.

The organization’s founder, James Mai, led around 50 people, who Mai noted were on average about 60 years old, to visit Chen in his office to directly address the candidate about his comment at an event on April 7 that his team needed an interpreter to understand the Korean American politician. 

China calls on Sweden to respect the religious beliefs of Muslims over Quran burning incident

China Quran muslim Sweden
  • Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticized the recent burnings of the Quran in Sweden by extremist Rasmus Paludan.
  • Paludan, who leads the Danish far-right political party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), carried out an anti-Muslim demonstration that involved burning a copy of the Muslim holy book over Easter weekend.
  • "Freedom of speech cannot be a reason to incite racial or cultural discrimination and tear society apart," said Wang of the incident. "We hope Sweden can earnestly respect the religious beliefs of minority groups, including Muslims."
  • A number of Arab and Muslim countries have similarly criticized the Quran burning, with some calling it a provocation of the Muslim world.

China has joined the Muslim community in denouncing the recent burnings of the Quran in Sweden, with the Foreign Ministry calling for tolerance of minority groups’ religious beliefs.

Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, incited riots in southern Sweden after carrying out an anti-Muslim demonstration that involved burning a copy of the Muslim holy book over Easter weekend. 

10 protestors arrested for trying to block demolition for New York City Chinatown ‘mega jail’

Manhattan jail protest
  • Several Asian American activists were arrested on Wednesday after forming a human chain to block the construction of the world’s tallest jail in Manhattan’s Chinatown.
  • Evelyn Yang, wife of former U.S. presidential and New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, was among those taken into custody for civil disobedience.
  • The planned 295-foot, 40-story jail would be one of four jails to replace Rikers Island by 2027, a proposal originally laid out by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017.
  • Critics of the “mega jail” have voiced health concerns, among others, for elderly residents of the adjacent Chung Pak senior building, who would be subjected to air and noise pollution.
  • Some say the construction would also affect businesses, congest traffic and destabilize the peace of the historic Chinatown neighborhood.
  • Mayor Eric Adams vowed not to build the jail while running for office, but a spokesperson said construction will now proceed.

A protest against the construction of a 40-story jail in Manhattan’s Chinatown has resulted in the arrest of some prominent Asian American advocates.

On the third consecutive day of protests Wednesday morning, protestors gathered on Baxter Street to block construction trucks from beginning demolition work.

Sri Lanka bans social media as citizens protest against worst economic crisis in country’s history

SRI_LANKA_CRISIS
  • An economic crisis years in the making has caused prices of daily necessities in Sri Lanka to skyrocket.
  • At least two people have died while lining up for hours just to buy fuel.
  • The turmoil has led to protests that forced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to declare a state of emergency last Friday and a curfew that lasted for three days.
  • To “maintain calm,” the Ministry of Defense then imposed a sweeping social media ban, which was lifted hours later after protests from the opposition.
  • The country is now negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout, but discussions are expected to last until the end of the year.

Sri Lanka has become the latest Asian country to ban social media in an attempt to quell protests against its government, whose alleged incompetence has reportedly led to the worst economic crisis in the country’s history.

The temporary ban, which restricted access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp, was placed on Sunday under orders from the Ministry of Defense. Jayantha de Silva, chairman of the federal telecom regulatory authority, told Reuters that it was “imposed in the interests of the country and people to maintain calm.”

Hundreds gather in NYC Chinatown to protest the development of a new 24-hour homeless shelter

nyc chinatown homeless shelter protest

Hundreds gathered in New York City’s Chinatown last Thursday to protest the development of a new 24-hour homeless shelter. Four shelters have reportedly been proposed in the neighborhood, which would raise the total number of shelters in Chinatown to 10 if completed.

Protestors on Thursday took particular issue with the planned seventh shelter, which would replace the shuttered Bowery Hanbee Hotel at 231 Grand St. and house 94 beds.