As thousands gathered at different rallies and protests across the Bay Area Saturday to condemn assaults against the Asian American community. Others are deciding to focus their solidarity through self-defense.
Dan Tuazon and his wife enjoyed their Saturday night out, like many others around downtown Alameda. But unlike others, Tuzaon is staying on his toes.
“I was confronted maybe two or three weeks ago walking my dog out in Alameda and I don’t know if that’s racial, or they just want my money,” he said.
“As soon as the guy put his hand on me i just grabbed his hand and broke his finger. I’ve been training in martial arts all my life.”
Tuazon isn’t the only one who believes in the power of self-defense.
Boxing coach Bilal Mahasin created Black Asian Solidarity, a self-defense workshop in Oakland featuring various mixed martial arts practices and a safe space for conversations about racial tensions.
“Just allow the Asians in our community to know that they do have people support them and who will defend them, stand up for them,” he said.
The workshop and the conversation that followed was just what Fremont resident Alice Chan needed.
“For someone to promote unity is very interesting to me, it speaks to me,” she said.
Art is among the signs of support and solidarity for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and it's helping people heal.
This includes a projection on the side of the Alameda Cineplex by artist Ae Marling. The painting showed an image of AAPI activist Amanda Nguyen with the words “I am an American.”
Healing words and images across the Bay Area and across the country Saturday as many are advocating for a community that still feels pain and fear from recent attacks.