In remembrance of the eight people who lost their lives during massage parlor shootings on March 16, 2021, we are reflecting deeply on workers who are killed far away from their homelands; and the structures we must dismantle to work towards peace. In their honor, we are sharing the statement we released last year – more true than ever. We invite you to reach out to us, and be part of the solution.
API Chaya condemns in the highest possible terms the white supremacist shootings at massage parlors that killed eight people in Georgia. Six of the victims were Asian women. We feel deep sadness and rage with our communities. We urge all of you to center on the dignity and agency of massage parlor workers. Many immigrants and migrant Asian women work at the intersections of care services and the sex industry. Both forms of labor are devalued and stigmatized in our societies. API Chaya honors their work. We are in solidarity with all massage parlor workers and sex workers, including those who are undocumented and working class. We organize to build a world where their needs are met, rights are upheld, and where they have accessible and safe options for their livelihoods.
We condemn all anti-Asian violence, including targeted attacks on our elders and community members, police violence (including raids of massage parlors), deportations, incarceration, and the public health crisis in prisons exacerbated by COVID-19, and acts of war in our home countries. All are rooted in the long history of U.S. imperialism all over the globe. All are connected to the conditions that allow for intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, and labor exploitation to continue in our homes and neighborhoods.
We send our love to all massage parlor workers across the country and invite those in the Seattle area to reach out to API Chaya for any support or resources. Our helpline number is 1-877-922-4292 and our advocates will be accessible in the languages you speak. We are committed to your care and healing. The Massage Parlor Outreach Project is coordinating a vigil again this year to honor the lives lost on March 16th, 2021, and all those impacted by anti-Asian violence on March 16, 2022, from 9 AM-12 PM at Hing Hay Park. Visit their instragram @mpop_sea for more details.
“Don’t waver. Don’t let despair sink its sharp teeth
Into the throat with which you sing. Escalate your dreams.
Make them burn so fiercely that you can follow them down
any dark alleyway of history and not lose your way.
Make them burn clear as a starry drinking gourd
Over the grim fog of exhaustion, and keep walking.
Hold hands. Share water. Keep imagining.
So that we, and the children of our children’s children may live.”
—Aurora Levins Morales
In love and hope for a better future, API Chaya