At Philly’s Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival, the focus this year was on anti-Asian violence
Joining up with the Lantern Parade were immigrant families and their supporters from throughout Pennsylvania to push for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
In the heart of Philly’s Chinatown, families, friends, and human rights activists came together Saturday in celebration of a joyful holiday but also to speak against anti-Asian violence and intimidation.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Moon Cake Day in China, is a time of togetherness for families in the Chinese culture because the moon, which symbolizes reunion, is believed to be at its fullest and brightest. But in a year of rising violence against people of Asian descent which, in Philly, included the death of a Chinese American takeout restaurant owner and the random assault of a high school student while he walked with his grandmother, organizers designed the festival as a platform for advocacy.
“We gather to celebrate and to raise our voices in pride and for safe communities for all. We do not want our traditions, languages, and cultures to be silenced in the face of violence and intimidation,” Alix Mariko Webb, executive director of Asian Americans United, said in a statement.
The traditional Lantern Parade included a costumed skit, speeches, and performances by local artists in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office at the eastern edge of Chinatown to push for family reunification.
Joining up with the Lantern Parade were immigrant families and their supporters from throughout Pennsylvania who started with a rally at City Hall and a march of their own to push for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Organizers were Movement of Immigration Leaders in Pennsylvania, or MILPA, and New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, an immigrant support group.