Oakland's Chinatown shows resilience against COVID, violence with street festival

ByCornell Barnard via KGO logo
Sunday, July 31, 2022
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A show of solidarity in Oakland's Chinatown this weekend, where a new summer festival is celebrating strength against COVID and anti-Asian violence.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A show of solidarity in Oakland's Chinatown this weekend, where a new summer festival is celebrating strength against COVID and anti-Asian violence.

A new drum beat was echoing through Oakland's Chinatown Saturday signaling safety and resilience.

"This event it's to help revitalize Oakland Chinatown and help bring visitors back in," said Stewart Chen from Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council.

Chen helped organize the Oakland Chinatown Summer Festival as a way to hit the reset button and welcome people back, after the pandemic and numerous anti-Asian violent crimes rocked this neighborhood.

"Chinatown has been inundated with a lot of crime," said Chen.

Most recently, Uber Driver Patrick Fung was murdered July 17 as he was starting work near Little Saigon.

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Oakland Police have committed to increasing patrols in Chinatown.

"But a lot of the safety is not because of the police department, it's because the community has got together and joined forces with the police to have a bigger presence," said Oakland Police Deputy Chief Clifford Wong.

Some business owners like May Woo are feeling safer with added patrols.

"They keep our shop safe many people come here, it's very good," said Woo.

Even with increased patrols, the Oakland police say some crimes are still going unreported in Chinatown.

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"But there's always a certain percentage crime unreported, we encourage those to be reported more often," said Wong.

"We still have to stay vigilant," said Chen.

More than 50 Chinatown food vendors and businesses were all in for this festival, signaling a new start for a resilient neighborhood that's experienced so much.

"Events like this is to bring people back here, Chinatown is open for business, please come back," said Chen.

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