230 People Rally

On May 18 in Brattleboro about 50 people attended a rally to call on local, state, and federal politicians to do more to address the series of racist murders and assaults against Asian Americans that have occurred around the USA in the past few months. Emma Allen grew up in the Brattleboro area and is now a student at the University of Vermont. She told the crowd gathered at Plaza park, “This month, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.... One of the first established communities of Asian Americans living in North America settled almost 300 years ago off the coast of New Orleans. Chinese immigrants built the transcontinental railroad.... Filipino labor (organizers) would eventually be joined by activists like Ceasar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. Yuri Kochiyama ... worked with Malcolm X. This is what Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month should be about, not whether or not our community members will be attacked.”

Lisa Chen is a member of the board of Southeastern Vermont Community Action. In her speech, she said, “I'm Asian and I'm a woman. Most people think that means quiet and submissive. Not me.”

Asian American leader Jason Wu said in a May 14 NBC News report, “We're calling for a redistribution of wealth and resources into things like health care, and housing, social services, because we know that’s at the root of the violence that we see in our communities, is due to inequality.”

Tracy Donahue introduced the speakers. She was one of the event organizers. More information about how to support this movement is on the web site of the Asian American Federation.

George Carvill led the group in a song about love and peace. He also provided the sound system for the event.

A May 20 New York Times article says, "Asian American community leaders say the bigotry was fueled by President Donald J. Trump, who frequently used racist language like 'Chinese virus' to refer to the coronavirus. The New York Times, using media reports from across the country to capture a sense of the rising tide of anti-Asian bias, found more than 110 episodes since March 2020 in which there was clear evidence of race-based hate. The tally may be only a sliver of the violence and harassment given the general under-counting of hate crimes, but the broad survey captures the episodes of violence across the country that grew in number amid Mr. Trump's comments. Eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were killed in shootings at massage parlors in Atlanta on March 16. A Georgia prosecutor said that the Atlanta-area spa shootings were hate crimes."

The below photos show the rally. To enlarge a photo, click on it then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photos by Eesha Williams.


In Springfield on May 19, about 30 people attended a rally to demand that the Massachusetts legislature pass “the Covid-19 Housing Equity Bill before mass displacement becomes a reality in our communities. We are still in the red zone in many of our communities and we could see Covid case numbers increase, just like they did when the moratorium lifted, as people face being removed from their homes as protections that keep them housed lift swiftly.”

Tanisha Arena runs Arise for Social Justice. That's one of the groups that organized the rally. She told the Valley Post, “The rally was excellent. There were about 30 people, including (Springfield city) councilor Lederman. There was testimony from and about those impacted by this housing crisis.”


In Brattleboro on May 14 about 20 people attended a rally to protest Israel's military attacks on Palestine. The Tenants Unions of Brattleboro is one of the groups that organized the rally. In Greenfield on May 15 about 20 people attend a rally for the same cause. One of the groups that organized the rally has a web site at https://traprock.org. Anna Gyorgy is on the board of the Greenfield group. She told the Valley Post that 100 or so people attended a Northampton rally for this issue on May 14. Gyorgy took the below photo at the Greenfield rally.


In Springfield on May 18, eight or so people attended a rally to demand the freedom of a man they say was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. Wrongful convictions are common. That's according to www.InnocenceProject.org.

In Springfield, Angel Hernandez is the subject of a current re-trial of a murder conviction for a 2008 murder. Two witnesses who testified for the prosecution at the original trial were later convicted of perjury.

One of the groups that organized the 2021 rally has a web site at www.MassJWJ.net.


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