Neighborhood Safety Companions publishes their “framework” approach to addressing still-rising anti-Asian violence
Members of PANA initiated Neighborhood Safety Companions (NSC) in March 2021 to provide a vehicle for those willing to stand up to the violent attacks on Asian Americans across the U.S. and world. As an extension of PANA members’ work to win full equality for Asian Americans, the work PANA members do in NSC is an extension of our efforts to build political power and solidarity to win the societal change that our communities need. Please support these efforts.
“If one is to be serious about putting an end to racist anti-Asian violence, there has to be an addressing of causal factors. Advocating increased policing or crimes reporting alone fail to address the problem at the street level. Few Asian/Pacific Islander organizations are advocating direct aid to victims and families like Neighborhood Safety Companions (NSC) does. This needs to change. Our “demands” are a work in progress, but hopefully, what we present can encourage further discussion and constructive debate.”
Through direct interaction with local seniors, small businesses, workers, street vendors, housed and un-housed neighbors, the NSC street-walk teams hold conversations about their efforts to combat Anti-Asian Violence. NSC also engages in mutual aid, distributing safety supplies (whistles, personal alarms, pepper spray) and personal health items (personal hygiene items, alcohol wipes, masks, socks, etc).
PANA members working on the NSC effort also try to connect the work to the larger battles for healthcare, quality housing, social services and the need to build solidarity between various social movements.
NSC recently launched a new website to compliment their ongoing presence on Instagram. NSC is also looking for a non-profit fiscal sponsor so as to pursue financial support for their work and restocking supplies.
Please visit and share the new NSC webpage and follow NSC on Instagram. Better yet, join NSC!
September, 2021: The staff, workers, customers and neighbors of Wi Spa have been subjected to racist violence and terror by far right extremists over the past few months. It is time the Asian communities recognized and supported Wi Spa.
“When they (Proud Boys) come to protest, the police shut down this place for over 3 hours. We cannot make money, customers afraid and cannot go in and out and people don’t want to come near. This is very bad for us and for business.”
About 30 members of the “Proud Boys”, an armed white supremacist paramilitary group have come to Westlake on the east edge of Koreatown twice to protest Wi Spa for serving transgender people.
They believe transgender people should not be served. A video was allegedly shot of a transgendered person displaying genitalia inside the spa during the summer. The video went viral on far right news stations and Fox Mews. Then L.A. transgender activists were targeted on social media. Then, the protests began.
When these people attack Wi Spa’s right to serve trans people with their threats of violence, dozens of workers and customers are stuck inside and terrified. For Manager Jonathan, a Korean American and the Korean workers and staff, it means loss of income and a bad reputation. The surrounding neighborhood is forced to avoid the area including a high school located just 1 block north of the spa. Two people were stabbed at one of the confrontations and one pro-Wi Spa supporter was shot by the LAPD with rubber bullets.
The media has portrayed the Wi Spa incidents and violence as a protest by far right extremists against Wi Spa for allowing a transgender customer into the spa.
Although the intent of the Proud Boys is to express their homophobia and hatred for the LGBTQ community, their actions are anti-Asian racist in nature regardless of intent due to the terror and damage to Korean workers and it’s owners and customers.
The far right extremist Proud Boys must be condemned for both their virulent anti-trans homophobic actions and their anti-Asian racism stepping on the rights and dignity of the Korean business as they “protest’ LGBTQ customers
Extremists like the proud Boys now have the arrogance and audacity to organize terror demonstrations into L.A.’s majority people-of-color neighborhoods.
“We are only following the law. The law says we cannot discriminate against transgender people. What is wrong with that?”
System changers, progressives and reformers must work with and unite the broad masses of working class folks, small business and urban professionals especially in our POC communities against the far right. At the same time we must continue struggling with liberals over economic and foreign policy issues influenced by the republicans and win them over to the most progressive stances at the moment.
We urge community organizations to educate our communities about these dangers in our neighborhood and the threat to our country.
We urge community groups to take strong public stands against these fascists as the first step to prevent future attacks. (Currently, PANA and Neighborhood Safety Companions members are collecting statements to gather together and publish online and in other venues.)
We urge community groups to join us at the next Proud Boy protest into Koreatown to sent a message, they are not welcome.
We urge Neighborhood Councils in Koreatown, Westlake and surrounding neighborhoods to condemn the Proud Boy fascists.
The LAPD must enforce the law and arrest these fascist for violent crimes, not assist them by arresting mostly counter protesters.
Neighborhood Safety Companions, KoreatownProgressive Asian Network for Action
Korean Resource Center (KRC)
No Harm Koreatown LA
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
J-town Action and Solidarity (JAS)
Save Our Seniors Network (SOSN)
Please contact PANA at [email protected] to endorse this position in support of Wi Spa and against fascist violence against transgender people.
June 23 2021- A Wi Spa customer, “Cubana Angel” made a video of herself complaining that a trans woman customer with male genitalia was in the women’s section. The video went viral.
The video is portrayed as a negative example and condemns Wi Spa. The spa asserts it is simply obeying CA Civil Code 51B which forbids discrimination against transgender customers. Moreover, records at Wi Spa do not show any transgender customers coming to the spa on June 23 for appointments.
Right wing talk shows like Tucker Carlson and fascist websites prop up the story and agitate reactionary responses.
July 3 2021- First “protest” by Proud Boys. Results in violent confrontations between the groups.
July 17- Results in 40 arrests mostly counter protesters who oppose the Proud Boys. Violence breaks out after a Proud Boy stabs a demonstrator and an LAPD cop shoots a counter protester at point blank range after she plead not to shoot.
July 31, 2021- The Proud Boys did not show up to this protest. However the LAPD made one arrest of a counter protester for “resisting arrest.”
Last month’s deadly shooting in the US city of Atlanta has put the spotlight on anti-Asian hate crimes across the country. Six Asian American women were among the eight victims. Since the start of the pandemic, these incidents have been on the rise and in some cases, their frequency has increased by as much as 100 percent. The anti-China rhetoric of former US president Donald Trump has played a part. Amid an indifferent response from authorities, some activists are taking matters into their own hands. Our California correspondents Valérie Defert, Pierrick Leurent and Ryan Thompson report.
Programme prepared by Patrick Lovett and Camille Pauvarel.
LOS ANGELES (KCAL, KCBS) — In an effort to curb a rise in hate crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans, volunteers offered safety and companionship to residents of Koreatown Thursday.
The Koreatown Neighborhood Safety Companions group, along with the Progressive Asian Network For Action and community volunteers gathered at Kenmore Avenue and 6th Street in Koreatown, the same site where a Korean American air force veteran was allegedly attacked a few weeks ago.
Friday, April 2, 2021 KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — In light of numerous recent attacks on Asian Americans across the nation, a group of local volunteers is helping Koreatown residents by offering safety and companionship if they need to go out.
Organizers call them Neighborhood Safety Companions, keeping a watchful eye on the community while doing their part to prevent anti-Asian violence.
Join Neighborhood Safety Companions to fight Anti-Asian Violence
Asian Americans are standing up nationwide with initiatives to promote safety in our communities in the face of Anti-Asian violence.
Volunteer work to build community relationships with the intention of deterring attacks offer an alternative to advocacy of increased racist policing.
In addition to massive rallies of people calling for an end to the epidemic of Anti-Asian violence, volunteers have been engaging in activities such as distribution of personal safety alarms, volunteer peace-keeping walks, self-defense classes, free companion services to seniors and distribution of educational materials in multiple Asian languages regarding how to report hate-crimes.
The Progressive Asian Network (PANA) has been reaching out to groups such as “Asians With Attitude” to coordinate such efforts and begin pulling resources together as part of this growing effort. Current work being done by such groups as “Compassionate Oakland,” “Safety Walks NYC,” and “Citizen Foot Patrols” in San Jose Japantown are underway and the volunteer efforts are growing rapidly.
If you are interested in joining or supporting these initiatives, please send an email with your contact information to: [email protected]