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B.C. musicians band together to fight anti-Asian racism

Click to play video: 'This is BC: B.C. supergroup using music to fight anti-Asian racism' This is BC: B.C. supergroup using music to fight anti-Asian racism
There is power in numbers and in just a few short months the Asian Persuasion All Stars have been doing everything they can to lend their voice to fight anti-Asian racism. Jay Durant has the story of how a group of Vancouver musicians are hoping to make a difference. – Oct 21, 2021

You can call them a supergroup of sorts.

Many of the musicians in the newly formed Asian Persuasion All Stars have been on the Vancouver scene for decades now, each performing in their own respective bands.

But they’ve come together, some meeting for the first time not too long ago, galvanized after seeing racist attacks in the Asian community.

Read more: Hidden Hate: Exposing the roots of anti-Asian racism in Canada

“(I’m) very disgusted. It’s terrible. It’s cowardly,” drummer Tony Lee told Global News.

“These are our nieces, our mothers, our aunts, our uncles,” added guitarist Tim Chan.

There is power in numbers and in just a few short months the 12 band members have been doing everything they can to lend their voice to fight anti-Asian racism. They recently released a cover of the reggae classic Racist Friend.

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“It’s a simple message: if you have a racist friend then it’s time for your friendship to end,” Chan said.

They held a live show at LanaLou’s Restaurant in Vancouver last month. All proceeds from both initiatives are going towards the Elimin8ate hate organization that is working to put an end to ant-Asian racism.

“I’ve seen the videos they’ve done, some of the programs they initiate. They go out and communicate through social media,” Chan said.

The Asian Persuasion All Stars will continue to support the community by performing at the opening night gala for the Vancouver Asian Film Festival on Nov. 4 at the Parq Casino.

Read more: ‘It hurts my heart’: Vancouver nurse says she was target of racist remarks during anti-vaccine card rally

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“Here is a group that’s banded together, that’s said that, as a community, ‘This is something we won’t stand for and we’re going to shout it from the rooftops and we’re going to use our music and all our abilities to fight against it,’” said Vancouver Asian Film Festival founder Barbara Lee.

The band describes their experience so far as uplifting. For now the rehearsals will continue, and the music will go on for as long as it takes.

“We like to say we’ll keep going until racism is eliminated,” Chan said.

“I’d love to just keep the momentum flowing because it’s been a great experience.”

To contact Jay Durant with a story idea for This is BC, email him details and contact information at thisisbc@globalnews.ca

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