Seattle — On Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at noon in Hing Hay Park in Chinatown, the Chinese community of Greater Seattle will mark the 136th anniversary of the Seattle Chinese Expulsion of 1886 with a remembrance rally and march.
The Seattle riot of 1886 occurred Feb. 6-9, 1886, when an angry mob forced over 300 Chinese to flee their homes. Several were killed. Rising anti-Chinese sentiment, caused by intense labor competition with completion of the railroads and the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act by the U.S. Congress in 1882, triggered the riot.
On Jan. 21, 2020, 134 years later, Seattle became the first U.S. city to report a COVID-19 case. Again, Chinese in Seattle came under threat when COVID-19 was called the “China Virus,” and a wave of crime and discrimination against Asians, especially Chinese, surged over the past two years.
The rally and march will draw attention to Chinese Expulsion and its modern forms so it will never be repeated with newer generations, regardless of national origin. It will also celebrate over 150 years of political and cultural contributions Chinese Americans have made to Washington state. This is the third remembrance of the Chinese Expulsion, to honor forebears who were killed and to embrace the future.
Elected officials, law enforcement, and community and youth leaders will share their insights and stories about their own experiences. The march comes after remembrances and will proceed to the waterfront from Hing Hay Park via the Historic Chinatown Gate to the location where, in 1886, Seattle’s Chinese were forced aboard a vessel bound for San Francisco and deportation.
The event is organized by more than 20 local Chinese American organizations. All are invited to join this peaceful gathering.
Additionally, on Feb. 12 at 2 p.m., the Wing Luke Museum is hosting a Zoom webinar on a sculpture that will recognize the expulsion of Chinese from Seattle.