On Saturday, March 25th, I participated in the Solidarity March and Rally co-sponsored by the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC) and the South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA). The march was organized to oppose the growing anti-Muslim sentiments and government actions. It was another example of how the divisive policies and attitude of the current administration have brought people together.
It was a small gathering (maybe 120 people???) that marched down 6th Street from Japantown to the plaza at City Hall. Speakers included representatives from both the Japanese American and Islamic communities as well as other local activists and San Jose Assemblyman Ash Kalra. Many described the impact of Executive Order 9066 signed by President Roosevelt in 1942 that resulted in the first a curfew and then the internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans, many of whom were US citizens. Parallels were drawn to the recently proposed travel ban and registry discriminating against Muslim immigrants, refugees, residents and citizens.
San Jose's Japantown is a unique place, being both close-knit and inclusive. How fitting that leaders from this community should reach out in unity to express their outrage and to declare NOT AGAIN.