Alamedans March, Showing Solidarity

Logan Rasmussen Activists marched to Alameda City Hall in response to recent crimes against Asian Americans March 26.

Alamedans March, Showing Solidarity

On March 26, hundreds gathered for an Anti-Asian Violence march down Park Street.

The march, organized by Youth Activists of Alameda (YAOA) culminated in speeches, from students and adults, outside of city hall.

“We think it went great and it started a dialogue for varying age groups about hate crimes, especially those against Asians,” said YAOA. “We also are going to continue to push for justice and equity as well ... starting with creating a city-wide hate crime hotline.”

The march was a response to a rise in hate crimes and attacks against the Asian American community. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 150%. In an attempt to stop these attacks, people across the country have come together to call for an end of the biased hatred.

“One thing to keep in mind is that the sigma and racial bias against the AAPI community isn’t something new or a trend we can all support, then forget about a few weeks later,” said Encinal junior Robbie Camarillo.
While the attacks seem to be primarily targeting the elderly, it’s something that affects everyone.

“The sigma that all Asians carry a virus is the most disgusting thing and can not be tolerated. I am not a virus,” said Camarillo. “My grandmother asked me, “Why can’t I go shopping alone or go to parts of Chinatown myself?” I responded, “There are people attacking people like you, and for that reason, I don’t know.”

The march included many residents of Alameda from all backgrounds.

“We need to work together and in love, so we can grow together, so we can rise together, and that people stop killing us together,” said Alameda High School senior Raquel Williams.

The mass shooting in Atlanta, in which eight people of Asian descent were killed, sparked similar protests around the nation.

“We don’t want what happened in Atlanta to be at Alameda. We don’t want to be the next landmark of a mass shooting, the next landmark of a racist town,” said Williams.

YAOA also held a vigil for AAPI lives at Chochenyo Park on March 31.
With the spike of attacks these past few weeks, there has also been a spike of anger and desperation for the end of them. For many, working together to end the racial discrimination around us is something to strive for.

“We need to change that culture, change that energy, so we can be the diverse community we say we are,” said Williams. “This island is an island where everyone belongs.”

Maurice Ramirez

Katherine Mejia is a student journalist at Encinal High School.