'We are not silent.' Hundreds denounce anti-Asian violence in Seattle
Hundreds gathered at Hing Hay Park in Seattle's Chinatown-International District on Saturday to denounce hate, bias, and violence aimed at Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, both in the region and across the U.S.
Saturday's rally and march are one of several events planned in the coming days to raise awareness and demand that action be taken by elected officials to address the disturbing rise in anti-Asian racist violence.
“We saw this ugly trend surge a year ago, when Covid-19 first emerged in our state. One year later, we have a vaccine for the virus – but racism is still running rampant,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said in a recent statement.
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At Hing Hay Park, several people gave testimonies before the crowd. Noriko Nasu, a Japanese language teacher at Inglemoor High School, detailed a violent, unprovoked attack that left both her and her boyfriend with serious injuries last month.
"Since the assault, I was contacted by so many people who shared their own story of abuse," Nasu said. "I was horrified to know that so many of us have experienced and are experiencing this hate, and nothing has been done."
"We are not going to be silent anymore," Nasu said. "It's time for us to demand our stories to be heard. It's time to demand justice."
Khang Nguyen, 20, led the crowd in a moment of silence to remember the lives lost.
“Let’s be clear, anti-Asian sentiment and rhetoric have always existed in this country,” Nguyen said. “From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Japanese Internment Camps of World War II - this is not new.”
"We are not silent," he said. "The world will hear our voices. They will listen to our stories. And they will remember our faces."
Youth organizers, community members and current and former elected officials spoke to the crowd before a peaceful march through Seattle's Chinatown-International District took place.
“Solidarity is the solution,” said Nathan Duong, a 12th-grade student at Monroe High School. “We step forward today. We step forward tomorrow. We step forward the day after."
"This is not a moment’s vision," he said. "It is a movement’s dream.”