A Chinese Cambridge University alumnus has created a “Stop Asian Hate” petition after he was racially and physically attacked by a group of teenagers while grocery shopping in England.
Unprovoked assault: Zhang, 25, was out buying groceries at Co-op food shop on Sept. 18 when a group of around 10 teens allegedly began calling him racial slurs like “ch*nk” and telling him to “go back to your home country,” Varsity.co.uk reported.
- Zhang tried to escape when the group, whose members were aged about 16 or 17, started to punch him, leaving him with a broken nasal bone and septum.
- “I chased them out of the store to an intersection when some of them turned back, ready to hit me again. I backed off and told them I already called the police and ‘you can’t get away with this,’” he told Cambridgeshire Live. “They threw a can of drink at me and it hit my back. They again started to run away.”
- A passerby drove him to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries. Zhang has since required nasal surgery.
Stop Asian Hate in England: Zhang launched a petition following the alleged assault and wrote a joint letter with the Cambridge Asian Community, pushing Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner for action.
- In the letter, which has garnered more than 1,000 signatures as of this writing, Zhang called on Zeichner to “unite and lead all the Asian students/residents, whether Chinese or Korean, Indian or Japanese, to combat the growing number of hate crimes towards Asians.”
- Zhang believes that the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit has exacerbated the violence against the Asian community and points to other hate crimes that have been committed recently around Cambridge students.
- “I was deeply shocked and saddened to learn of what happened and the injuries sustained because of the assault…I pledge to do what I can to help efforts in countering hatred in our city,” Zeichner said in a statement. “I am meeting the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police very soon and will discuss with him how best we all can support Cambridge’s Asian community at this difficult time.”
An investigation into the attack has been launched and is ongoing, according to the police.
Featured Image via Yuanzhao Zhang