“I am fed up…I am fired up,” Marpheen Chann, told several hundred people at a rally yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall.
The goal was to raise awareness and demand action to stop anti-Asian racism and xenophobia and build multiracial solidarity against white supremacy according to Chann, organizer of the event.
The motivation for the rally was the recent increase in attacks on Asian-American woman across the United States. Specifically, on March 15 a 38 year old woman of Asian descent was harassed and her car damages while she was on Forest Avenue. The offender, Troy Sprague, a homeless man, was later arrested for his role in the case.
Then on March 16, six Asian woman were among the eight people shot and killed in Georgia. It is believed by many that these attacks on Asian women are a result of the Trump administration repeatedly reminding the public of the connection between China and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a long history of misogyny and violence directed specifically at Asian women by men of all races – including Asian men. Asian-American women have long been stereotyped as sexually submissive, portrayed in popular culture as exotic “lotus blossoms” and manipulative “dragon ladies,” or as inherently superior to other women in a way that erases their individuality. They have been subjected to backlash for any failure to conform to those stereotypes and trolled for choosing non-Asian partners,” according to an article – “Twin Biases Shadow Asian-American Women” on Friday, March 19, 2021.
Numerous speakers from a variety of backgrounds and representing different non-profits spoke up during the two hour rally. According to the speakers list, there were speakers from the Cambodia American and Youth Activist, Maine Intercultural, the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, IWC, the Maine ACLU, the Portland Public Schools, the Maine People’s Alliance, the Portland City Council as well as others.
“White supremacy wins when we are divided. That is why I am so pleased to welcome speakers from the Black, Indigenous and Hispanic communities,” Chann told the rally goers.
(Mhn.com attended learned of the rally in its final moments and so unfortunately is unable to provide any more details than what is above.)