"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

City of Surrey recognizes anti-racism campaign started by Spice Radio Featured

 

Hands Against Racism (HAR), which was launched on the birth anniversary of the late Martin Luther King Jr. in 2015 has now been by acknowledged by the fastest growing municipality with a sizable population of South Asians and other minority groups.  

Started by the Burnaby-based Spice Radio, the campaign encourages participants to dip their hands in colour and leave a palm print on a white sheet of paper alongside a message against bigotry. It coincides with Holi, an Indian festival of colours. Spice Radio CEO Shushma Datt, who is of Indian origin, initiated the campaign to raise awareness about the growing hate in North America.  

This year saw a spike in anti-Asian racism in the light of COVID 19 that started from China and eventually spread to other parts of the world.  

The notice of motion recognizing HAR was unanimously passed by the City of Surrey.   

Jack Singh Hundial, the South Asian councillor, was instrumental behind the motion. Hundial, who is a strong voice for social justice, had moved a motion asking the city to formally acknowledge that it sits on indigenous land. However, the motion was rejected by the Mayor much to the dismay of the First Nations.  

Early this year, Hundial and his council teammate Brenda Locke had gone to the Spice Radio station to participate in HAR.  

Locke, too, has stood against a controversial anti-religion bill passed by Quebec National Assembly. Bill 21 bars public employees from wearing religious symbols. This has hit hard turbaned Sikhs and Muslim women with head coverings, and has intensified hate attacks against them in a charged political environment.  

Surrey follows the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster, which have already recognized HAR. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and BC Premier John Horgan have also participated in the campaign that continues to grow with each passing year.

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