Demonstrators this spring have come together in Boston and across the country to bring awareness to a rising wave of violence against Asian-Americans. On Saturday, a number of artists took their turn in Copley Square to make their voices heard in a special way.
"With art, you can convey that with passion and love and even if there’s aggression in the music, you’re not abusing somebody, you’re not calling somebody out," said Anoushka Kota, a vocalist who performed at the Saturday's rally.
Students from Berklee College of Music and other musicians — some, including Kota, from as far as Washington, D.C. — held a "Stop Asian Hate" rally, celebrating AAPI Heritage Month with live music, dance, poetry and art, and protesting against anti-Asian hate.
"Hate is hate and it’s not okay," Kota said. "I have so many friends who have gone through this and have faced abusers on the street. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my songs, because it’s not okay. Your time's up. You cannot keep treating people inhumanely."
"Regardless of race, we should all realize that our differences bring us together so we should unite together to eradicate those differences," said Kurtis Adei, a supporter who attended the rally.
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Jimmy Chen, a graduating senior from Berklee, was the student leader and main organizer of the event. Since the typical live recital most graduating students perform through the college was cancelled this year, he decided instead to bring more fellow musicians together in this act of remembrance, according to a release preceding the event.
Proceeds and donations from the event, which was sponsored by Dance Complex, will go to Asian American Writers Workshop, Asian American Artist Alliance and Asian American Women Giving Circle to support Asian American artistry and uplift AAPI voices, according to the organizing group.
This past week, President Joe Biden signed legislation addressing anti-Asian hate crimes, which have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure passed Congress with bipartisan support.