BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — More than a hundred people marched from Peters Park to the Chinatown Gate in Boston on Friday to call for an end to white supremacy in the U.S. and the Commonwealth.
The "Out of the Orient March for Asian Futures" was organized by Asian Coalition MA, calling on state lawmakers to do more to support communities of color during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
"We live in spaces where being scared, being unsafe, is expected," Fiona Phie of the Coalition said. "I don't want to be unsafe anymore."
Phie also urged the white participants in the crowd to use their privilege to end structural racism by putting their bodies between people of color and the police, for example.
The group said protesting and putting pressure on legislators is how the community can push back against the continued nationwide surge in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
"That is how we fight back against violence," Carolyn Chou with the Asian American Resource Workshop said. "We build stable, thriving communities -- and our people do that in the face of so much, and we need the system to step up and give us our basic needs."
Their demands include ending the displacement of low income families of color from gentrification and deportation, decriminalizing sex work, defunding the police and more. They are also asking for more security for communities of color when it comes to housing and employment.
The group chanted words like "no justice no peace" and "we the people will never be divided" while carrying signs that read out messages of support for communities of color.
In the future the Asian Coalition MA wants to create a mutual aid network called the "Peace Walk Program" where volunteers walk Asians and other people of color home from places like train stations to help keep them safe from racist violence.
WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville (@WBZSausaville) reports: