On Sunday, January 30, Councilmember Krekorian joined U.S. Representative Judy Chu, California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and other local elected officials and leaders of the Asian-American community for a Justice Rally at the Wat Thai Temple in North Hollywood.
This date was the first anniversary of the death of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai grandfather senselessly killed by a total stranger on the sidewalk outside his home in San Francisco. Across the U.S., five cities marked the anniversary with rallies against racism and hatred directed toward Asian-Americans.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen by over 300 percent in the last year, but discrimination and violence against Asian Americans are not new. They have been a shameful part of our country's history since its beginning. “For over 50 years,” Krekorian noted, “Wat Thai — the oldest Thai Buddhist temple in the United States — has been a place of peace, dedicated to the principle that every human life is precious.” This somber anniversary gives us an opportunity to recommit ourselves to rejecting racism and violence in all of its forms. “Anti-Asian violence is anti-American — a violation of our founding principle that all people are created equal,” Krekorian said.