#TheyCantBurnUsAll Movement Makes Its Way to Los Angeles and San Francisco

#TheyCantBurnUsAll rally

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include that the #TheyCantBurnUsAll rally and march in San Francisco on Sept. 12 has been postponed due to hazardous air quality. A new date has yet to be determined, according to its organizers.

China Mac and William Lex Ham held their third #TheyCantBurnUsAll rally in Los Angeles on Sept. 5 over the long weekend.

 

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Who’s ready to Stand Up and Fight Back with all of us tomorrow at #TheyCantBurnUsAll Rally and March in Los Angeles at MacArthur Park (6th St and Park View) at 3pm?!? Being in LA, organizing for the past couple days, we heard that Asians on the West Coast are really passive and don’t do anything unless it happens to their immediate family I don’t think I can believe that, based on the responses that we’ve had from all of you who have asked us to hold the rally here! Now more than ever.. we need to unite and support each other! Tag everyone you know who needs to be the rally tomorrow! Saturday, Sept 5th 3pm MacArthur Park 📸: @jboogielove #TheyCantBurnUsAll #ProudAFToBeAsian #AsianAmerican #HateIsAVirus #RacismIsAVirus

A post shared by William Lex Ham 🧢 👊🏼😜🤙🏼 (@willlexham) on

The march happened at MacArthur Park between 6th St. and Park View at 3 p.m. and was posted to the rapper and actor’s social media accounts as well as their newly formed Instagram account dedicated to the rallies, @theycantburnusall.

 

In an interview with Dion Lim at ABC7 News, Mac and Ham talked about the importance of their slogan and how although “They Can’t Burn Us All” originally formed due to the infamous incident in July where an elderly Asian woman was set on fire in Brooklyn, it has since evolved into a rallying cry for not just “pan-Asian unity, but unity amongst all people against hate crimes and racism.”

“We haven’t had any voices that are really fighting these hate crimes. Voices that are loud enough. You’ve done such an incredible work Dion,” Ham continued. “Benny at NextShark have [sic] been putting together a lot of the hate crimes, but we haven’t seen our people rally together or a call to rally.”

“When we fight, we need to fight together,” Mac said. “This is a people’s movement.”

 

In this rally, following the previous two in New York on Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, Mac and Ham were joined by more than a hundred people in a sweltering above 100-degree weather, Hong Lee (@mama_dolee), a LA resident who was verbally harassed at El Taurino restaurant in August, told NextShark. Lee was present and one of the speakers for the event.

 

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Yesterday, I completely stepped out of my comfort zone and spoke about my racial attack in front of a crowd. I prepared what I was going to say and as soon as I got there, I managed to forget everything. It was completely overwhelming to see everyone that came to show their support about these ongoing issues especially in 100+ degree weather, holiday weekend, the pandemic, etc. The tears were happy ones, I promise. Thank you to everyone that came yesterday to show their love and support. Thank you to @chinamac, @willlexham and the @theycantburnusall team that organized the rally. This is only the beginning. We will continue to accomplish more TOGETHER. More to come.. #theycantburnusall ••• Repost @thehannalee (Thanks for sharing) @mama_dolee was so brave to tell her story • If you saw the girl of the Asian women being verbally assaulted and terrorized by a man in a Mexican restaurant. This is that courageous woman, standing up and telling her story. not only is she strong but also fierce. She’s taking a stand and making a difference. We stand with you, we feel your pain and anger. please excuse the shaky girl, I was bawling. @theycantburnusall @chinamac @willlexham #theycantburnusall

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Although Lee and her husband were hesitant at first because they wanted to keep their privacy, they ultimately decided to share the video.

Lee told NextShark she spoke up for three reasons: (1) to address the increase in hate crimes against Asians since the pandemic started; (2) “bring awareness” for her two baby boys, “[wanting] them to be able to grow up in a world where hatred is not the norm;” (3) “[taking] a stance for those” who shared their attacks and “no one listened to their story.”

 

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Even 108 degree weather couldn’t keep us away from this rally. Meet my biggest supporter, Mr. Lee 💙#theycantburnusall

A post shared by HD Lee (@mama_dolee) on

The second California rally, which was originally planned for Sept. 12 in San Francisco, was postponed for safety reasons.

As Ham said in his Instagram post, they expected “an incredible experience” because of SF’s “rich history of activism.”

The first California rally was held before the 13-year-old suspects behind the July 14 burning were arrested and subsequently charged with third-degree assault on Tuesday.

Featured Image Screenshot via @willlexham (left), Hong Lee (right)

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