SEQUIM — About 30 people gathered in downtown Sequim to stand against Asian American hate crimes.
Co-organizer Carlos Osorio said Saturday’s two-hour rally was organized by the local chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL in concert with the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition’s similar events across the country. The rallies were geared toward bringing attention to rising anti-Asian sentiment and discrimination in regard to COVID-19 and foreign policy with China.
Rachel Anderson, a recent Sequim city council appointee, said she attended on her own and not as a city council member to support the Asian American community and to support abused women.
Anderson, who spoke about past trauma and abuse, said she hopes “we can normalize that it’s OK to talk about abuse.”
Anderson added, “If I can say something that helps them feel more brave, then maybe they won’t feel so alone in their trauma.”
Participants said about half of the group of speakers were victims of abuse.
Ryan Qualls of Port Angeles, with the Black Action Coalition and Sequim Good Governance League, told the crowd, “If we don’t talk about (racism), then it doesn’t exist; this is why I’m here.”
Osorio said the ANSWER Coalition sought organizers for nationwide events, and that the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) – Olympic Peninsula, consisting of three people answered the call and organized it. Like Anderson — who said she was unaware of PSL and its beliefs — the effort also saw support from several community members unaffiliated with the group who choose to participate to support the Asian American community. Osorio said issues such as racism and drug addiction aren’t truly addressed in a society driven by profits under capitalism. He added that to have equity, a profit driven society must be eliminated.