Speaking for Ourselves

Birmingham comes together for Stop Asian Hate Rally

Birmingham comes together for Stop Asian Hate Rally

Sundus Abdi

 Migrant Voice - Birmingham comes together for Stop Asian Hate Rally

On Saturday 24th July, people gathered together in the heart of Birmingham to rally against the rise of hate crimes against Asians during the Covid-19 pandemic. Groups including Stop Asian Hate UK, Birmingham Asian Resource Centre, Migrant Voice and councillors from various political parties showed their support with a number of speeches. 

The rally aimed to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to collectively fight against anti-Asian racism and hate crimes. Speaking at the rally, Salman Mirza, Birmingham Network Worker at Migrant Voice, stressed the importance of civic engagement in political movements. “It often starts small like today, but it has a big resonance around the world and around communities: that’s where we need to start going,” he said.

At the start of the pandemic, UK-based advocacy group End the Virus of Racism reported a 300% spike in hate crimes against East and Southeast Asian people. For example, in March last year, student Jonathan Mok, 23, was physically assaulted in a racist attack. “I don’t want your coronavirus in my country,” his attacker reportedly said. In the same month, a Chinese takeaway owner was also spat on by a teenager who demanded to know if he “had coronavirus”.

Throughout the rally, there was a feeling of shared solidarity and a strong desire to end racism.  “We will work cross-party with colleagues from all different parties with those that share those views [opposing racism],” said Liberal Democrats councillor Roger Harmer at the rally.

Yeow Poon, a spokesperson for the rally, highlighted a number of anti-Asian hate crimes across the country. Poon said that the event hoped to raise awareness to “prevent serious race crime incidents in Birmingham”.

This rally was covered in BirminghamLive. You can read the article by clicking here

Image credit: Migrant Voice

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