1199ers and Allies Rally in NYC’s Chinatown to Stop Asian Hate

July 19, 2021

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Featured guests Rev. Al Sharpton and actor Danny Glover joined hundreds in action supporting AAPI community.

In a powerful display of love and solidarity, hundreds of 1199ers and allies packed Bayard Street in New York City’s Chinatown for a rally on May 27 in support of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. With the action, 1199ers made clear their solidarity with the AAPI community and the insistence that all must stand up in the face of the current racist attacks on Asian Americans.

“We are proud to be here in Chinatown today, and we came here today to say we need to stop Asian hate,” said 1199SEIU President George Gresham.

“And we need to say that as loudly and as strongly as possible.”

Special guest speakers at the star-studded event, which was produced in conjunction with the National Action Network, included Rev. Al Sharpton and actor Danny Glover. Joining them on the agenda were SEIU Local 32BJ Political Director Candis Tolliver, Ravi Reddi of the Asian American Federation, Larry Lee of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, and Justin Yu of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.

1199SEIU member Ludi Victor Ramos gave especially moving and personal remarks about the importance of uniting in support of our AAPI brothers and sisters.

“At work I’ve seen my co-workers face racism. I’ve seen my co-workers called names by people they’re taking care of,” said Ramos, an RN at Mount Sinai Queens for 32 years. “We are all children of God and we need to respect each other…no matter what color you are. Sometimes in this world you need to demand respect.

The days are over when Asian people can stay quietly on the side. We need to speak up for ourselves and our community. I have bi-racial children. If I don’t speak up for our community, I m not doing right by them. With all the attacks on African Americans I was already worried for my children.

Now with the attacks on Asian Americans I’m even more worried. We need to speak up. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren.”

Also at the rally, 1199 premiered a new video featuring numerous allies including Harry Belafonte, Rev William Barber, actress Melissa Joan Hart, talk show host Jeannie Mai and others—designed to encourage others to join us in our work to help stop the senseless hatred and violence against the AAPI community.

“We are here today to let the world know you that you can’t divide us,” said Pres. Gresham. “An injury to one will always be an injury to all. If you come after one of us, you better be prepared to deal with all of us.”

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1199 Magazine - May / June 2021