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Seniors in Chinatown 'Afraid to Walk on Own Streets'

Attacks on Asian-Americans are on the rise
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2021 1:30 AM CST

(Newser) – A disturbing trend in California, where brutal attacks on Asian-Americans as they walk down the street have been increasing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Actors Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu took action, offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case of a 91-year-old who was shoved to the ground on Jan. 31 in Oakland. A suspect was in fact nabbed, and is suspected in not just that attack but two others in Oakland's Chinatown on the same day. "This is in addition to the layers and layers and layers of other incidents that have been happening since COVID but also pre-COVID," Wu tells Reuters. "I just couldn’t stand it and had to do something about it." Robberies are also on the rise, locals say, and incidents are happening in other cities as well. Many big-city Chinatowns are on alert, NBC News reports.

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"Within the community there are many seniors who live inside Chinatown (who) are also afraid to walk on their own streets," says the president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. "Many employees are expressing their fear working in their own stores." He tells ABC News he knows of at least 20 incidents in recent weeks, but believes many attacks are also going unreported. The fear has particularly hurt the community in the run-up to the Lunar New Year celebration Friday, as many have been afraid to shop. Oakland's police department has moved a command post to Chinatown and is increasing patrols, and KQED reports community patrols and volunteer escorts for Chinatown seniors have also been organized. President Biden "is concerned about the discrimination against, the actions against the Asian-American community," the White House press secretary said Monday, per KRON4. (Read more California stories.)

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