Chinese to Protest in 30 Cities in Support of Peter Liang

Shock and anger over the verdict of Chinese-American police officer Peter Liang still are gripping the Chinese community. In the past few days, Chinese in New York and across the country have been discussing the case and mobilizing via community meetings and the social media platform WeChat. Determined to help Liang and raise awareness of what they believe to be an unfair verdict in this case, Chinese community members plan a number of activities, including protests to be held on Feb. 20 in more than 30 cities in the country. Here is a roundup of related stories in the Chinese newspapers, translated by Rong Xiaoqing from Chinese.  

 

A story in Sing Tao Daily on Feb. 15 by Fan Chan says Chinese around the country are planning to hold protests on Feb. 20 simultaneously.

(Photo via Sing Tao Daily)

Chinese in Minnesota rally in support of Peter Liang (Photo via Sing Tao Daily)

On Feb. 13, two days after the verdict of Chinese police officer Peter Liang was announced, some Chinese living in Minnesota reacted by holding a rally saying that the verdict as unfair. Now Chinese around the country have been mobilized and are preparing to protest simultaneously on Feb. 20 in more than 30 cities, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Orlando and more. Tian Wang, the organizer in Los Angeles, issued a statement on WeChat to call on Chinese people to participate. He said although the incident happened in New York, it has nationwide impact. And the protests are not only to protect the rights of the Chinese but also everybody else because to have equality and a fair justice system is the right of all people.

 

A story in Sing Tao Daily on Feb. 15 by Fan Chen and Rong Xiaoqing talked about the multi-layered reaction in the Chinese community in New York, including seeking help from the White House.

Two accounts have been opened on We the People, the White House’s website for grassroots petitions on Feb 12. One of them got about 76,000 signatures in two days, close to the 100,000 threshold for an official response from the White House. The petitions noted the indictment and the conviction of Liang were both political decisions, making  Liang a scapegoat for the tension between the public and the police in this country. The petitions asked for a fair review of Liang’s case.

Meanwhile, Liang’s attorney Robert Brown posted on his website a formatted letter to judge Danny Chun. He called on Liang’s supporters to sign and send the letter to the judge and ask him to withdraw Liang’s conviction because the prosecutors didn’t present adequate evidence to support the conviction.

Supporters are also continuing to fundraise for Liang and his family. On social media platform WeChat, close to a hundred chat groups were set up to help Liang. In New York, a general command committee was set up Feb. 14 to coordinate the activities devoted to help Liang. The key members include community leaders Eddie Chiu in Manhattan, John Chan in Brooklyn, Phil Gim in Flushing, and Yiping Wu and Doug Lee on Long Island. The committee is still recruiting volunteers to help organize protests. And it also opened an account to raise money for Liang.

 

In a story in the World Journal on Feb 16, reporter Mengzi Gao offers details about the upcoming protest in New York.

(Photo by Mengzi Gao via World Journal)

(Photo by Mengzi Gao via World Journal)

On Feb. 15, representatives from several community organizations gathered at the Lin Sing Association in Manhattan to announce details of the Feb. 20 protest, which will be held at Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn. They said this will only be the start and more rallies and marches will follow until the judge and the American society hear the voices from the Asian community.

Eddie Chiu of Lin Sing said more than a thousand people have stopped by his office since the verdict was announced on Feb. 11 to sign a petition to the judge to protest against the unfairness in the case and ask the judge to consider [in determining a sentence] Liang’s impeccable performance before the incident. “We also got tens of thousands of dollars donated to Liang by more than 300 people in the past four days. Now everyone is sympathetic to Liang and is angrier about the verdict,” said Chiu. And he added that many Chinese want to raise their voices on this case now, so this is the best time to organize a protest.

 

Another story in the World Journal on Feb. 15 by reporter Shuhan Yu announced a signature collection event at Flushing scheduled for Feb. 17.  

On Feb. 17 from 10 am to 5 pm, a table will be set up in front of the Flushing library to collect signatures for the letter to the judge. Yunjun Long, the organizer, said the letter is to ask the judge to not let Liang become a scapegoat. He said the organizers will provide printed letters and stamped and addressed envelopes to make it more convenient for those who don’t have a printer to send the letter. “This is an opportunity to make our voices heard and to call on more Chinese to participate in the protests,” said Long.

On the website dedicated to the event and related activities, many Chinese left supportive messages. A message from Ruiying Chen says: “I am outraged by Liang’s conviction. It was an accident.” A message from Mindy Liu says: “I firmly support Peter Liang. We Chinese living abroad should be united. Otherwise we’ll never get the rights we deserve. This is for our children. We should work together to show that we Chinese are not a sheet of loose sand.”

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