Seed the Vote
Lunar New Year event
March 7, 2015 – As hundreds of thousands gathered in San Francisco’s Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year, #Asians4BlackLives used large-scale artwork and light projections to share their wishes for safety, justice, and resilience for Black communities.
To maintain the Chinese tradition of hanging red scrolls and handing out red envelopes to extend blessings, #Asians4BlackLives members lined the parade route with 10-feet-tall lanterns decorated with red scrolls reading “Everyone benefits when we value black lives.” They handed out over 1000 red envelopes with blessings in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
“Lunar New Year celebrations are about setting the foundation for a prosperous year,” said Sydney Fang of #Asians4BlackLives. “Black communities nationwide have been standing up to state-sanctioned violence and fighting for their liberation. As Asian Americans, we have the power and responsibility to stand on the side of justice. We are passing out red envelopes here to share our wishes for safety, justice, and resilience of Black communities, so that all communities can prosper.”
Another Chinese New Year tradition is that of repaying debts to start the new year on a positive note. #Asians4BlackLives recognizes the debts owed to their ancestors who have sacrificed for them and protected them, as well as the debts they owe to Black movement activists and leaders. “Many of the rights that we enjoy as Asian Americans were fought for and won by Black liberation movements, including voting rights protections, desegregation in schools, and an end to Asian immigration bans. We stand on the shoulders of Black organizers who have fought against racial inequality and institutional oppression. Their organizing has benefited Asian American communities in America. And it is our duty to honor and recognize it. Paying this debt means continuing to fight for Black lives because our struggles are connected,” said Sydney.
“Often times, Black and Asian communities are pitted against each other. Asians are seen as the “Model Minority.” We are here to say that we are not a wedge, and we are not each other’s enemies. This is why it is important for Black and Asian communities to stand together during this time,” said Navina Khanna of the activist group.
San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar also demonstrated support for the actions during the Parade by wearing a “#BlackLivesMatter” t-shirt.
Asians 4 Black Lives is calling on other Asian Americans to join the struggle in solidarity with Black lives. “We need our communities to join us in challenging anti-black racism by talking with your family and co-workers or supporting organized direct actions to call for an end to the war on Black people,” said Navina Khanna. “Our communities’ liberation depends on the liberation of Black people. As we wrap up the Lunar New Year celebrations and welcome the year of the Ram, we will make this the year that we stomp on injustice”