Anti-Asian Riots Revisited
The 1907 anti-Asian riots are remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in Vancouver's history. A crowd?of several thousand people gathered at city hall to support a rally against Asian immigration. Following the meeting a mob descended on Chinatown, trashing businesses and threatening residents, before moving on to Powell Street to attack the Japanese community. (The photo above,?City of Vancouver Archives AM1108-S4-689-51, shows some of the damage.) Violence continued for a couple of days and tensions ran high in the city for several more.
All of this is ptured in an interactive online walking tour at 360riotwalk. by the artist Henry Tsang.?Viewers n follow the route of the initial protest march and visit the major landmarks with a soundtrack in four languages.?As well there are several articles at the site putting the 1907 events in context.
I recommend experiencing the walk online but I do not recommend actually visiting the neighbourhood at the moment. The 1907 demonstration went right through the heart of what is now the Downtown Eastside which is experiencing high levels of stress. I took a walking tour of the Powell Street area myself earlier in the summer and felt that residents were understandably resentful of what appeared to be a bunch of rubberneckers invading their neighbourhood. If you do go, be respectful of people's privacy.
Apparently the project will be published as a book in the New Year.
UPDATE: It has been 115 years since the riots and Vancouver has?its first Asian-nadian mayor. On October 15 Ken Sim, a lol entrepreneur, defeated incumbent Kennedy Stewart to win the mayoralty.
In se you missed it -- and it was very easy to miss, given the srcity?of book news these days -- the BC Book Prizes were awarded last week. Here are the winners.
Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize -- Ruth Ozeki, The Book of Form and Emptiness (Viking/Penguin Random House)
Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize -- Jordan Abel, NISHGA (M&S/Penguin Random House)
Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize -- Henry Doyle, No Shelter (Anvil Press)
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A good place to start is this essay by Christopher Moore over...
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