By Mel Fernandez, Video and photo courtesy of Migrante Aotearoa
AUCKLAND – A large contingent of Filipinos took part in the ‘Love Aotearoa, Hate Racism’ rally on Sunday 24th March at Aotea Square. They joined unions and advocacy groups in support of the victims of the Mosque killings on March 15th in Christchurch.
The estimated crowd of about 1,000 included Filipino groups like Migrante Aotearoa, Pinoys Helping Pinoys, #NZ Filipinos and Filipino Students Standing Against Racism. The Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand, Jesus Domingo who was at the March Against Racism was delighted with the turnout. He commented: “Proud of the strong and large Filipino contingent.”
Migrant Rights Advocate Mikee Santos was equally impressed with the turn-out. “Big contingent indeed from ages 10 to 65. We want to make Aotearoa better, we have to rise up.”
Amy Dural Maga of Migrante Aotearoa couldn’t agree more. “It hurts to be yelled at: ‘Stupid bloody Asians! Go back to your country.’ We feel the pain of our Muslim communities and (are) all vulnerable to hate, racism and xenophobia. And so we cried out: Rasismo, Pasismo Ibagsak! Down with Racism.”
In a recent statement Migrante International said: “We are calling on our fellow Filipinos to be vigilant and work together with all peace-loving New Zealanders in promoting respect and well being for all. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden stated that these extremists are trying to destroy New Zealand because of our diversity and rejection of racism but they will not win. We are united and will continue to uphold our values of kindness and compassion.
“We urge everyone to stay safe and vigilant as we join the cries for justice during this difficult time.
“We condemn in strongest terms the hate and violence brought by right wing extremists all over the world. We are offering our prayers and condolences to our Muslim brothers and sisters and to all the victims of this tragic event.”