This is a tricky topic, but discussion needs to begin: Why I won't be attending the #StopAsianHate rally in #yyj tomorrow, a thread. [x/20] #bcpoli #yyjpoli

Anti-racism work needs to happen, but we have to be careful about what's being centered. I had multiple friends text me about this rally, hoping to do something useful. Uncritical local news coverage like this isn't helping either: /1…
“The shooting in Atlanta was shocking,” the Harmony Foundation, a local organization supporting the rally, wrote in a statement. But what is the Harmony foundation?

They don't seem to have much of an internet presence. But a quick search on Linkedin shows this: /2
It is very confusing that #yyj community orgs like the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Students Open Forum Against Racism (SOFAR), etc. are missing from the conversation. So who's organizing? /3
Leighla Foster, a University of St. Michaels student, is the 10th grader behind the #yyj rally. I deeply applaud her bravery and initiative in speaking out on anti-Asian racism. I just hope this energy isn't being co-opted like it is in Vancouver. /4…
"She spread the word through social media, and her mom’s circles. The teen discovered like-minded youth in other cities, and they coordinated to have several fall on the same day in [multiple #ca cities]." /5
How is it possible that a bunch of teenagers have the ability to coordinate this without grassroots support? Let's take a look at some of the supporting players and groups in this graphic. Particularly, I will be highlighting ACEA. /6
ACEA, claims to "to promote Multiculturalism and equality and protect Canadian principles and values from narrow-minded populism, bias and McCarthyism and avoid to repeat mistakes such as Chinese Exclusion Act or the Japanese Canadian internment."

McCarthyism? What? /7
ACEA is responsible for starting the call for a Vancouver protest, but their mission goals are... odd. /8
"Malignant McCarthyism is more dangerous than coronavirus" was the first piece published on the ACEA website. You know, standard stuff. Don't equate Chinese-Canadians as agents of the CCP party, this is racism, etc. etc. /8
This piece is much less believable when you look at their organizational structure (now deleted/inaccessible). /9

First one on the list — Hong Guo (who ACEA claims to no longer be part of the organization): /10…
The Chinese-Canadian civil community is deeply fractured and needs nurturing. The only org that I could recognize on that graphic was @ccncsj and ACLA. Interestingly enough, ACEA is not mentioned at all on this graphic put out by @ccncsj. /11

While doing research for this, the situation is a little more clearer. The Vancouver one is obviously being co-opted, and the Toronto one is being supported by credible organizations. /12
Where does this leave #yyj's rally? A private school kid, using her mother's connections, and with the support of 'local organization' Harmony foundation, plans the rally. Again, I don't doubt Leighla's commitment to anti-racism. /13
But the fact that early news reports misreported the Harmony foundation as the 'main organizer', which also contradicts the information circling in WeChat (which says that a rally is being organized by the Victoria Chinese Commerce Association) is concerning. /14
This isn't Toronto, where legit organizations that have been building solidarity since the 1980s are supporting the rallies. This is a hasty #StopAsianHate exercise in performativity. "Spread the word against racism!" [direct quote from vicnews] /15
Leighla, I'm sorry that there hasn't #yyj civil society was not prepared and ready for bright young voices like yourself. You should not have had the burden of navigating this all by yourself. /16
Civil society in Victoria is deeply, structurally white, and only with the events of 2020 (Indigenous resurgence, centering of Black voices) do we see an explicit focus on racial equity in organizing and activism. /17
If the structures are not there, the energy of those who attend these protests with well-meaning will at best dissipate. In a worst case scenario, it gets coopted by elites. /18
Things we can actually do? Build BIPOC-centered civil society like @ICAVictoria. Let the marginalized diasporas take center stage, not the elites. If you're reading this and from @uvic, read this:… /19
Sorry for 1999. Long thread, but I appreciate everyone who read to the end. /end

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