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Over the weekend, Golden Globe award-winning actress Sandra Oh made a surprise appearance at one of the Stop Asian Hate protests in Pennsylvania, following the murders of eight women – six of whom were Asian – on March 16 in Atlanta. 

There has been a huge surge in Asian hate crimes across the US since the pandemic began, but the shootings at three separate massage parlours last week finally made the racism and violence impossible to ignore on a global scale. Thousands across the world called for people to acknowledge the wider and growing problem of Asian hate, instead of focusing on the isolated incident, and celebrities such as Rihanna and Gwyneth Paltrow took to Instagram to condemn the crimes. 

At a rally in Oakland, Oh took a microphone to deliver an impassioned speech, calling for those in attendance to step up and help their community to condemn racism. “Thank you to all the organisers for organising this just to give us an opportunity to be together and to stand together and to feel each other,” Oh said in a video that has since been widely shared on social media.

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“For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful to everyone willing to listen.”

“I’m going to be very brief, but one thing that I know is many of us in our community are very scared, and I understand that,” Oh continued. “And one way to kind of go through and get through our fear is to reach out to our communities. I will challenge everyone here, if you see something, will you help me? If you see one of our sisters or brothers in need, will you help us?”

“I am proud to be Asian. I belong here.” Oh added, starting a chant with the protestors: “Many of us don’t get the chance to be able to say that, so I just wanted to give us an opportunity to be able to shout that.”

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