APALA Mourns After California Mass Shootings Impacting AAPI Community and Commits to Fight for Gun Control Reform
For Immediate Release; January 24th, 2023
Contact: Katie Moy Mostris firstname.lastname@example.org
On January 21st, the eve of the Lunar New Year, the majority-Asian community of Monterey Park, CA, was devastated by a mass shooting at a Chinese community dance studio that killed eleven elders and injured many more. Less than 48 hours later, a gunman killed seven people in two locations in Half Moon Bay, California. Although authorities have not released the names of the seven who lost their lives, reports indicate that some of the victims were Chinese agricultural workers. The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) is devastated at the news of both shootings and extends our deepest condolences to the affected families from Monterey Park to Half Moon Bay and all those whose lives are now forever changed by gun violence.
Gun violence continues to devastate communities and make public spaces like classrooms, workplaces, and community centers unsafe. We acknowledge the dangerous power of toxic masculinity to normalize violence against low-income workers and elders in propelling the shooters in both Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. As our communities move forward, we must combat gender-based violence and prioritize national gun control reform.
We mourn for the families of the eleven elders who lost their lives and the seven community members of Half Moon Bay whose identities have not yet been released. Our communities deserve to celebrate Lunar New Year joyfully and without fear. Asian American workers must have the right to safe workplaces where they can thrive in the absence of violence. Instead, many have woken up to a living nightmare of fear for our community who were shot in their workplaces or at the dance studio, targeted at the start of one of the most important holidays for many East and Southeast Asian families. APALA will continue to fight against gun violence and gender-based violence while holding the 18 people who lost their lives, their families, and the many more who were injured, in our hearts.
Ligaya Domingo, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and Second Vice President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) said, "We grieve deeply for the elders who lost their lives on Sunday. APALA is committed to helping our community process this loss and the fear and helplessness many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders may feel. Our voices are strongest together, and we will continue to lead the fight for collective liberation with those we have lost in our hearts."
Telly Tse, Co-President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, said, "The Monterey Park shooting is part of a long list of horrific tragedies caused by preventable gun violence. It took place where many Asian Americans often visited to eat, shop for groceries, and be with their friends. With the start of the Lunar New Year, this week should have been a time for celebration and new beginnings. It is a reminder that we have much work to do to make sure such events never happen again."
Katherine General, President of the San Francisco Chapter, said, “We cannot continue to wait for more lives to be lost. As diverse and complicated as the AAPI community is, so are our feelings. We are heartbroken, angry, and scared by these recent events. I hope we can find a way to collectively harness these feelings and be ready to take action against violence and hate.”
Vanessa Coe, President of the Alameda Chapter of APALA, said, "Our community is heartbroken by the senseless loss of 18 lives and injuries to many more. The fear and isolation many of our community members must be feeling right now is heartbreaking and must serve as an urgent call to action for all of us."
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