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Morning Brief: Anti-Racism Vigils, An In-Person Oscars, And The Orange Tier

A mural depicting various scenes of hip-hop in downtown Los Angeles (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 22.

On Saturday evening, two groups held vigils in the San Gabriel Valley to protest violence and racism directed at the Asian community. While the events had, at their core, the same goals, my colleague Josie Huang reports that they had significantly different approaches.

One event was held at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse and organized by San Gabriel’s vice-mayor. Featuring a lineup of elected officials, it focused on stopping violence, working with police, and encouraging the Asian community to “give more.”

"If you have given to your local community, give more," said Arcadia councilmember Paul Cheng. "If you have purchased PPE for your local schools, do it again."

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Meanwhile, the nearby event in Alhambra was initiated by one young woman on social media. Attendees skewed younger and emphasized solidarity with Black and Brown communities. One speaker addressed nearby law enforcement directly:

"For the police listening over there, we would like you to leave," she said. "Our community does not welcome you."

The vigils came on the heels of the murder of eight people in Atlanta, six of whom were Asian women. The tragedy left L.A.’s Asian community shaken, as incidents targeting members of the community have been on the rise for at least a year, fueled by racist rhetoric from local and national politicians.

In the San Gabriel Valley, where a number of cities are majority Asian, these attacks have left many residents afraid and angry.

But as evidenced by Saturday night’s events, many are now pushing back. Betty Hang, the 22-year-old who organized the Alhambra event, told Josie she could no longer be silent.

"I couldn't wait anymore," Hang said. "I'm not somebody who will be submissive and quiet. I refuse that stereotype. I refuse to be put in a box."

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

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Before You Go … The Oscars Will Be Held In Person

The Academy celebrates its Oscar nominees all week long with a series of screenings and discussions. (Aaron Poole / ©A.M.P.A.S.)

A lot of Hollywood awards shows, such as the Emmys, have been virtual this year. But the Academy Awards are having none of it; in an email to nominees, they announced that the event will be held in person at Downtown L.A’s Union Station — with no exceptions.

“We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and enjoyable evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world,” the email said, “and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts.”

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