Across the Bay Area and the country, people came together for what organizers call a National Day of Action and Healing to stop Asian hate. One of the many rallies was in Oakland Friday where several high-profile attacks have caught national attention.
“It’s been tough, it's not been business as usual,” said Eric Huynh of Green Fish Market.
Huynh says keeping his Chinatown business afloat this past year has not been easy. Not just because of COVID, but because the Green Fish Market has also seen crowds shrink as attacks on the Asian community have ramped up, not only in Oakland's Chinatown but across the nation.
“People are afraid to come out now,” said Huynh. “People are afraid to come out to Chinatown now, especially the elderly which is a majority of our customers.”
Mayor Libby Schaaf said, “We stand with our Asian community and we will fight for your right to live in peace and safety.”
Oakland city and community leaders gathered Friday morning to show their solidarity. The Oakland Chinatown Chamber of commerce is pushing for funding to install more surveillance cameras. They say Asian-owned businesses also need shoppers to support them now more than ever .
“Please come to Chinatown and give us business we need you,” said Carl Chan of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.
Huynh says the fear is real, saying he’s witnessed his own customers getting robbed on the street.
“I report it to the police but they want the victim to report it,” said Huynh. “But the victim does not speak english so basically it goes nowhere.”
He’s also experienced racism first hand, including hate filled and racist phone calls to his business during the pandemic.
“‘You don’t belong in America,’ things like that,’” said Huynh.
He said the stepped-up security from volunteers and police is helping and hope it brings more business back.
Eric huynh, green fish market
“During the weekdays it’s almost like a ghost town,” said Huynh. “We’re strong and we can fight this and survive this.”