8 THE QUEENS COURIER • APRIL 1, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Activists rally against anti-Asian hate crimes
on steps of Queens Public Library in Flushing
BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
As the show of support for Asian
Americans continues to grow, more than
150 protesters rallied outside the Queens
Public Library in Flushing on March 27,
demanding an end to anti-Asian racist
attacks, violence against women and
white supremacy. Th e protest was part of
ANSWER’s National Day of Action, held
in over 60 cities and towns across the
United States on Saturday.
ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop
War & End Racism) and co-organizer
Justice Center en el Barrio — groups that
fi ght for social justice and demand an
end to wars — also called on authorities
to label the Atlanta mass shooting, which
killed eight people, including six Asian
American women, a hate crime.
Chanting “Stop the hatred, stop the
violence, Asian Americans won’t be
silenced,” the diverse crowd held up signs
expressing their frustration with systemic
racism and calling for unity before speakers
addressed the protesters, among them
family members of Christian Hall.
Christian Hall, a 19-year-old who
was adopted from China when he was
1, was shot seven times and killed by
Pennsylvania State Troopers on an I-80
overpass on Dec. 30, 2020, while he had
a mental health crisis and was suicidal.
PA State troopers claimed that Hall was
pointing a gun at them, but a video shared
by civil rights attorney Ben Crump shows
that the young man had his hands in the
air when troopers began shooting.
Wearing red shirts picturing Christian
and holding up a family portrait of Hall
and his parents Fe and Gareth, family
members rallied around
Christian Hall’s cousin,
Otero, a Flushing resident,
when she addressed
He n r i q u e z - O t e ro
recalled a loving, curious
and exciting teenager
who stood with the Black
Lives Matter movement
last summer and explained that
the pandemic had aff ected
his mental health.
When he was on
the bridge, a witness
Over 150 protesters rallied outside the Queens Public Library in Flushing on March 27, demanding an end to anti-Asian racist attacks, violence against
women, and white supremacy.
called the police to help him.
“He needed help, but instead, they
killed him. Th ey shot him seven times.
No one tried to help him. He was on that
bridge by himself. And if you’ve seen the
video, you’ve seen his hands drop,” his
She also had this to say about the “bad
day” defense of the Atlanta shooter.
“He was having a bad day. But guess
what? We don’t get to have a bad day,
do we? When we have a bad day, we get
killed. But when that murderer killed
those people in Atlanta, he got sympathy
from that police offi cer. I wish
they would have given sympathy to
Christian,” Nicole Henriquez-Otero
Speakers also recalled the United
States’ long history of racism against
Asian Americans, harking back to
the 19th century when Chinese laborers
were exploited to build the nation’s
railroad system or work in gold mines.
Amanda Yee, a member of the Party
for Socialism and Liberation, said that
back then, white Americans believed
that Chinese workers carried diseases
like smallpox and the plague, much
like today, when Asian Americans are
blamed for COVID-19. Additionally,
many Americans blamed Chinese workers
for declining wages, leading to the
Chinese Exclusion Act in 1892, prohibiting
Chinese immigration for decades.
Photos by Gabriele Holtermann
“I’m here to tell you that anti-Asian racism
and Sinophobia that we see directed
at the Asian working class. Th ose
are fundamentally American values,” Yee
Aft er the rally, the protesters marched
through the Flushing, drawing cheers
from residents along the way.
Monica Cruz with the Party for
Socialism and Liberation felt terrifi c about
the turnout, and to her, it was a sign that
people want their voices to be heard.
Addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate
crimes, especially during the pandemic,
Cruz said, “Anti-Asian racism has always
been a core fabric of American society
of white supremacy. Th ere’s a long history
“It’s very clear that the community is
sick and tired of this racism. Sick and
tired of Sinophobia and sick and tired
of war drives and the pain,” the activist
Marcus Valeria, a Brazilian immigrant
and member of Defend Democracy in
Brazil, attended the rally and march in
solidarity with the Asian American community.
“When there is hate, there is hate
towards everybody. So we all have to stick
together and fi ght back,” Valeria said.
With the purchase of glasses,
contact lens e l.
2 Boxes of Lenses Frames & Lenses
PLUS FREE 2ND PAIR
* $200 minimum purchase on first pair of designer
frames. Second pair frame from select group with
Must present prior to purchase. Offer valid at this
location only. Not valid with any other offers, sales,
vision plans or packages.
Offer ends 4/30/21
offers, sales, vision plans or packages. Must present
prior to purchase. Offer valid at this location only.
Offer ends: 4/30/21
brand clear sphericalLenses/*Contact
lens fitting additional. Not valid for Toric lenses. Not valid with
any other offers, sales, vision plans or packages. Must
present prior to purchase. Offer valid at this location only.
Some restrictions apply, see store for details.
Offer ends: 4/30/21
Select frames with clear plastic, single vision lensas
vision plans or packages. Must present prior to purchase.
Offer valid at this location only. Some restrictions apply,
see store for details
Offer ends: 4/30/21
9 DESIGNER 9