You are reading

Sunnysiders Take Stand Against Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

Attendees at the Stand Up Against Asian Hate rally in Sunnyside Saturday (Photo: Queens Post)

March 6, 2021 By Christian Murray

A crowd of more than 125 people congregated under the 46th Street–Bliss train station Saturday to express their outrage about the spike in Anti-Asian violence–and to make clear that there is a united front of residents in Sunnyside who aim to stamp it out.

The event was organized by Steven Raga and Julie Won, both candidates running for 26th District city council seat to replace the term-limited Jimmy Van Bramer. They were joined by at least five other candidates who are running for the seat who were there in solidarity.

Many families attended the event, accompanied by young children. Several attendees carried signs that read: “Hate is a virus” and “Stop Asian Hate.” One person held a sign that read” “Enough is Enough.”

Raga, a Filipino American, and Won, a first-generation Korean immigrant, decided to host the rally—called “Stand Up Against Asian Hate” in Sunnyside to bring awareness of the issue in their community.

Julie Won and Steven Raga, organizers of the Stand Up Against Hate rally in Sunnyside Saturday (Photo: Queens Post)

The pair were at a recent rally in Manhattan protesting anti-Asian hatred but felt the need to show the world that Sunnysiders are just as outraged as activists in Manhattan.

“Last week Julie and I attended the ‘Rise Against Hate’ rally down town and we spoke afterwards,” Raga said. “We wanted to bring it [the rally] here–in Sunnyside.”

Won said that the way to combat the problem is by coming together as a community.

“It is important that we stand in solidarity because it’s through community that we resolve these issues of violent attacks,” she said.

She later urged people to speak up when they see someone being attacked and said that everyone needs to act with “love and compassion.”

The rally comes in the wake of a recent spike in attacks against Asian New Yorkers—with the bigotry tied in part to the outbreak of COVID-19.

There were 28 hate crimes against Asian Americans in New York last year, compared to just three in 2019, according to the NYPD. This year, there has already been a series of attacks.

Several council candidates running for the 26th Council District such as Jesse Laymon, Julia Forman, Amit Bagga and Heajin Hallie Kim also spoke out against the violence. So too did Carolyn Tran, running for the 25th District council seat.

Candidates such as Brent O’Leary, running for the 26th District, and Alfonso Quiroz, who is running for District 25, were in attendance.

Laymon warned that racism has no boundaries and that everyone has to look out for each other.

“Bigotry is itself an epidemic disease that is constantly mutating with new variants, and what is targeting one community today will target another community tomorrow and targeted others years before that,” Laymon said.

Attendees at the Stand Up Against Asian Hate rally in Sunnyside Saturday (Photo: Queens Post)

“This anti-Asian hate is not so different than anti-Semitism, from homophobia and the hatred directed to our Muslim neighbors…This is all one disease, and we must fight it together, or we will not succeed against any of it.”

Meanwhile, Potri Ranka Manis, a frontline nurse who is from the Philippines, urged people to resist the hatred. “Let’s stop the Asian hatred. Let’s unite. Let’s not allow hate to succeed. Let’s champion love and unity.”

Sharon Lee, who served as acting Queens Borough President in 2020, said that hate crimes against Asian Americans is nothing new.

“This is not just in the last couple of weeks,” Lee said. “This is not new. I urge everyone to speak up.”

Lee said that Asians have a history of not reporting these crimes.

Meanwhile, Van Bramer, who noted that as a queer man he has been subject to homophobic attacks, said that the violence against Asians Americans is about bigots trying to instill fear.

“All of us are the answer and we will all protect each other,” Van Bramer said. “We will not allow anyone in our community to be isolated or feel alone. We will never accept that—and allow hatred to leave anyone to feel powerless.”

Attendees at the Stand Up Against Asian Hate rally in Sunnyside Saturday (Photo: Queens Post)



email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.