Hundreds of Chinese-Americans marched last Saturday in Philadelphia to protest against violent crime targeting their communities.
Wearing shirts and carrying signs that read “no more violence”, the protest comes after a rash of robberies and home invasions. Rally organizer, Stephen Zhu, said a dozen Chinese families were victimized in July and August.
Protestor Chen Caiqiu, a 20-year resident of the United States, believes Chinese need to take a stand on behalf of their community: “Chinese are good-hearted and hard-working, and want to live in harmony with society. They should not be viewed as weak targets who suffer unjust treatment,” said Chen. “My participation in this anti-violence and justice protest is to show that victims need to make their voices heard. Any kind of violence should be punished by the law.”
At least 40 of the protestors were seen openly carrying firearms.
Li Ran, a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chinese Gun Club, explained that “We want criminals to understand that we are armed,” and wanted to make more members of the Chinese-American community aware of the “lawful methods” by which they can protect themselves.
Earlier this month, grocery store manger Chen Fengzhu used a gun to repel three armed men who attempted to invade her Georgia home, killing one in the process.
The protest took place on the same day as a local performance by rapper YG, who is accused of inciting crime against the Chinese-American community. YG’s song Meet the Flockers contains lyrics about how to carry out a home burglary, including:
First, you find a house and scope it out
Find a Chinese neighborhood, cause they don’t believe in bank accounts
The song originally appeared on the album My Krazy Life, described by Rolling Stone as “one of the best albums of 2014”. A petition to ban the song on the White House website We the People has successfully gathered over 100,000 signatures.