SEOUL—Activism and awareness surrounding anti-Asian violence have started fanning out world-wide, encouraged by U.S. protests following the Atlanta-area spa shootings.
People from an array of Asian communities and their supporters are taking to social media, rallying in the streets and speaking out—some for the first time—some for the first time. The mobilization has helped create a megaphone for issues that went mostly unnoticed for decades, but were amplified during the coronavirus pandemic and erupted in recent weeks.
South Korean band BTS took to Twitter on Tuesday, sharing how its members had endured expletives and mockery for how they looked. “What is happening right now cannot be disassociated from our identity as Asians,” according to the group’s official account, in a post that generated roughly 3 million retweets and likes.
Rallies against anti-Asian hate have sprung up in recent weeks in Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands and New Zealand. The most-searched query related to hate crimes is now “Asian hate crimes,” according to Google Trends, with interest surging 1,650% in the past 12 months.
“The Atlanta shooting was absolutely the catalyst,” said Steph Hai Hui Tan, who organized a Saturday rally in New Zealand that drew a crowd of more than 1,500 roughly split between Asians and non-Asians, she added.