A rally to protest the rise in racism against and attacks on members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities (AAPI) will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 24, on the lawn in front of historic Colton Hall at Monterey City Hall.
Rally organizers have lined up speakers representing various local Asian-American communities. Congressman Jimmy Panetta and Monterey City Councilmember Tyller Williamson will also speak.
The 2020-2021 annual report issued by the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center, covering an approximately 11 ½-month period through the end of February, said that there were 3,795 hate incidents reported during that time.
“The number of hate incidents reported to our center represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian-Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face,” the report stated.
Kaye Roberts, of Sand City, a Filipina-American entrepreneur, will be the master of ceremonies and is one of the event’s organizers.
Scheduled to address the rally are:
- Ajit Abraham, Lecturer, CSUMB School of Humanities & Communication and School of Social, Behavioral and Global Studies
- Jason Agpaoa, Filipino National Historical Society, Asian Cultural Experience and CSUSF (San Francisco State) Asian-American Studies MA Program
- Larry Oda, Past member, Buddhist Churches of America National Board.
- Nat Rojanasathira, Assistant City Manager, City of Monterey
- Eric Tao, President of the University of East-West Medicine and Professor, CSUMB School of Computing and Design
- Angie Tran, Professor, CSUMB School of Social, Behavioral & Global Studies
Williamson was the author of a resolution unanimously adopted by the Monterey City Council on April 6 that reads, in part:
“[T]he City of Monterey calls on all residents and leaders to join us in condemning racist attacks against Asian Americans in all forms, and renewing our commitment to speak out against such attacks, defend and protect those targeted, and seek justice and accountability against those who commit hate crimes against AAPI members of our community . . . “
Congressman Panetta, who is in his third term serving California’s 20th District, will be the keynote speaker and conclude the rally. He held a virtual roundtable this month with members of the Central Coast AAPI community.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to the assault that Asian-Americans are enduring,” he said. “We must work at all levels to provide answers and solutions to our local communities. . . I hope none of us will be silent bystanders as we go forward into the future. All people must stand up when aggression happens against blacks, browns and Asians so no one need feel alone.”
Citing a recent CSUMB report, The Monterey County Weekly wrote that “hate crimes against Asians in the U.S. jumped by 145 percent between 2019 and 2020 as the coronavirus fueled anti-Asian sentiment. Jeff Uchida, chapter president of the local Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest Asian-American civil rights organization in the U.S., said a member of the organization was recently targeted in Monterey. ‘It’s upsetting to see what’s going on throughout America,’ Uchida said.”
Roberts, the rally’s MC and a second-generation Filipina-American, was born and raised in Los Angeles. She recently launched her own web design company and is studying computer science.
“My values, passions and pursuits are rooted in the multicultural communities I grew up in and are influenced by the immigrant family I was raised by,” she says. “I am driven by my personal experiences to continue breaking barriers to race and gender equality.
Rally attendees should wear protective masks and observe social distance guidelines.