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How the UK’s East and South-East Asian communities are fighting COVID-related violence

23 November 2021

Diana Yeh

Migrant and diaspora communities are coming together to respond to a rise in racist violence.

In the UK, we are witnessing a historically significant moment for East and South-East Asian community organising – which is now happening on an unprecedented level. Though the experience of COVID-19 has devastated and traumatised our communities, it has also galvanised a new anti-racist consciousness, which has led to the development of new networks of mobilisation.

Hear our voices

14 November 2021

by Kanlungan

This zine was produced by migrants from the Philippines living in the UK with precarious legal status, or without leave to remain. It was created through three workshops devised to articulate wants, needs and hopes for life during or ‘after’ the Covid-19 pandemic, and foster warmth and solidarity.

Abolitionist Approaches to Hate Crime zine

11 October 2021

by Remember & Resist

This zine seeks to document Remember & Resist's collaborative work around the issue of 'hate crime' - focusing on the ways East and Southeast Asians are mobilising around 'hate crime' in this moment (or for the past year and a half).

It includes attempts at an abolitionist analysis of the 'Covid racism' and 'hate crime' discourse that emerged at the beginning of the pandemic; documentation of our workshops exploring 'hate crime' approaches to racism and strategising alternatives; a report on NGO-led 'hate crime' workshops for community groups; and pieces critiquing diaspora organising - one critiquing the demands that persistently circulate within 'ESEA' organising, and others on the possibilities of cross-diaspora and cross-class solidarity.

Consultation burnout and a fear of being forgotten. This is what COVID-19 ‘recovery’ feels like for many marginalised communities

23 August 2021

by Mariko Hayashi

One positive outcome of the pandemic should have been a greater commitment to supporting UK communities – including my own – who have been especially vulnerable. But all that many of us feel now is consultation fatigue and growing frustration.

COVID-19 has placed a harsh spotlight on the pre-existing inequalities and discrimination faced by some of the UK’s most invisible communities and groups – including those which I belong to and represent: the East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) community and migrants...

This is What East and Southeast Asian Hate Looks Like in the UK

27 June 2021

by Enxi Chang

This piece was written for GoFundMe by writer, performer, activist and Mandarin translator Enxi Erskine Chang as part of our campaign to support the UK’s East and South East Asian community.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, hate crimes against people of ESEA (East and Southeast Asian) descent have seen a terrifying increase. There has been significant media attention on violence towards Asians in the US, like the horrific Atlanta spa shootings where 8 people lost their lives, but this focus on the US can sometimes make it seem like this isn’t also an issue in countries like UK.

This needs to change. Racism and violence towards the UK’s ESEA community is real, and we need to start addressing it...

Confronting hate against east Asians – a photo essay

18 May 2021

by Nazia Parveen

Anti-Asian racism and crimes against the Asian community have amplified with Covid. The photographer Wendy Huynh, whose parents are Chinese immigrants from Vietnam who moved to France to flee communism, has experienced racism in Paris and London. She created a series of portraits celebrating Asian women in London from the creative industry to tackle the issue, and the Guardian talked to some of them about their experiences.

For Bonnie Kwok it was a subtle difference. Whenever she used public transport there was always a space left next to her. At first she dismissed it, but when it started to happen regularly she began to question why other passengers were reluctant to take the free seat...

This Is What Anti-Asian Hate Looks Like in the UK

18 March 2021

by Angela Hui

Racism against East and South East Asian people is on the rise here, too.

“Idon’t feel safe in my own home,” says Wang, 65, a Chinese retiree who has lived in north London since the 90s. In April 2020, as the UK’s coronavirus death toll rose to over 2,300, Wang found himself on the receiving end of racist attacks. A 16-year-old boy on his estate shouted “fucking virus, fucking Chinese” at him, verbally abusing him on multiple occasions.

One day, the teenager violently shoved the elderly man to the floor and laughed. The fall resulted in a broken arm that needed urgent bone fracture repair surgery and has left Wang permanently disabled. He was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder...

It's time we stopped downplaying the UK's anti-Asian racism

17 March 2021

by Zing Tsjeng

“It feels as if we do not really matter or exist.” That’s how Asian-American designer Phillip Lim put it in a subdued Instagram video uploaded in February, just after a wave of violent attacks on Asian people – particularly the elderly – shook America and poisoned this year’s Lunar New Year festivities.

According to nonprofit AAPI Hate, there have been more than 3,000 hate crimes against Asian Americans since the pandemic began. Viral videos grimly illustrated the statistic, with an 84-year-old Thai man fatally assaulted in broad daylight in San Francisco and a 52-year-old Asian-American woman attacked outside a bakery in New York. Tuesday, 16 March, brought the grimmest attack yet – a shooting spree in Georgia that killed eight people, many of them women of Asian descent...

#StopAsianHate: Meet the people helping to tackle Anti-Asian racism in the UK

14 March 2021

by Hagino Tiger Reid

They are asking for solidarity against Anti-Asian racism and for society to take the differences and nuances of East and Southeast Asian lived experiences seriously.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a recorded rise in hate crimes against East and Southeast Asian people in the UK, in what’s now been widely termed as Anti-Asian racism. Jonathon Mok, a Singaporean student beaten up on Oxford Street, was told “we don’t want your coronavirus in our country” and Peng Wang, a Chinese University lecturer was attacked by four men and told to “go home” while jogging in Southampton. An Ipsos Mori poll from May last year showed that one in seven people avoid people of Chinese appearance or origin, while hate speech on Twitter has increased by 900%...

Anti-Asian Racism Is On the Rise - And It’s Not Just a US Problem

3 March 2021

by Kate Ng

"My first experience with racism was being shouted “Chink!” at from across the street - I did not know what to do or say at the time, and just laughed it off. It was my first ever and only experience of such racism. Until last year."

In case you haven’t noticed, attacks on people of Chinese heritage - or even appearance - have escalated to new heights over the last year. And it’s absolutely no coincidence that the violence against East and South East Asian (ESEA) communities has increased over the course of the pandemic, given the racist rhetoric peddled by world leaders and right-wing groups about the origins of Covid-19. After all, impeached president (and notorious xenophobe) Donald Trump did call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” and “kung flu” at every chance he got, and words have consequences...

The Allure of Fear- A Response to Anti-Asian Violence and the Coronavirus Pandemic

2 March 2021

by Vy-Liam Ng

Anti-Asian hate crimes up 717% in Canada. Asian American air force vet attacked in Korea town. Oxford Street attack on Singaporean student. Woman pushed into water after “racial abuse” in Ireland. Elderly Thai man in San Francisco killed by teen. Hate crimes against Chinese have increased by two-thirds during COVID lockdown. University of Southampton lecturer beaten up in racist attack. Oakland police make arrest in attack on elderly Asian man as concerns over violence grow.

These are but a few headlines which have graced our feeds for the past year, and for those from ESEA backgrounds, how do you genuinely feel reading these words?...

Behind closed doors: Filipina workers trapped by the pandemic (PODCAST)

26 January 2021

Journalist Corinne Redfern discusses the impact the pandemic has had on the Filipino women trapped overseas, including Mimi (not her real name) who works for a wealthy family in London for just £5 an hour. Mimi was asked to keep working through the first lockdown with the family coaching her on what to say if the police stopped her. In her spare time, Mimi helps other overseas workers escape situations where they are being abused.

Anushka Asthana talks to the journalist Corinne Redfern from The Fuller Project about the impact the pandemic has had on the thousands of Filipino women who are stranded overseas. The Philippine government says that approximately one third of its 10 million citizens overseas are women working in “elementary” jobs – a term widely interpreted as referring to domestic workers who are paid low wages to clean homes, cook meals and care for wealthy families, often under horrendous conditions. Human Rights Watch has long described migrant domestic workers, thousands of miles away from home and hidden out of sight in strangers’ houses, as one of the world’s most vulnerable demographics...