Youth lead charge in rallies against Asian American hate

"Stand for Asians! Stand for Asians!"

This rally cry that could be heard down the streets of San Mateo Saturday came from 13-year-old, Ashlyn So. 

The San Mateo County Middle Schooler organized the rally in response to the rise in attacks on elderly Asian Americans.

"I saw all of these Asian elders getting hurt and getting pushed and I did not like that and I thought it wasn’t ok, " So said.

"So, I had to do something about it."

Enlisting the help of ther mother, the 13-year-old posted about her idea on the community webiste, Nextdoor, and immediately recived a response from the Millare Anti-Racist Coaltion.

Together they were able to gather hundreds in San Mateo Central Park on Saturday.

"You look around and it’s about everyone. So whether you’re White, Asian, Black, Latino, Asian. It’s people coming together and saying what is happening in the Bay Area is unacceptable," said San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa.  

"This event is clearly about making sure that people are informed and that San Mateo County’s values-we’re about inclusion, we’re about equity, and we’re against any form of violence based on race," Canepa said. 

Across the Bay, the same sense of solidarity could be heard in the streets of Oakland.

Saturday evening, the Yu Ming Charter School organized a car parade to inspire cross-racial solidarity, celebrating both the end of the Lunar New Year and Black History Month. 

"The overwhelming message that we all wanted to send in one way or another is that love is strong than hate,"  said Aisha Knowles, a member of the Alameda Country Board of Education.

"The system is set up to pin us against each other, to divide us," said parent and event organizer, Yushuan Tarangosho. "And so we want to send a strong message that we are always stronger together."

Since the beginning of the year more than 30 unprovoked attacks on Asian Americans have occured, some leading to serious injuries, one to death

"Racially motivated attacks really has no place in this country much less in San Mateo County," said Anders Fung, a member of the Millbrae City Council. 

Now the Millbrae City Council is putting together a coalition to look for further legislative action on these crimes.