Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, March 24, 2020 — In response to hate acts directed at Montrealers of Asian descent such as harassment, insults, physical violence and vandalism as a result of the racist association of coronavirus with Chinese people, CRARR calls on members of various Asian communities to remain vigilant and report these acts to local Asian and civil rights organizations.

Acts of anti-Asian harassment and assault have been reported in Montreal and other North American cities due to public misinformation and scapegoating related to COVID-19 or coronavirus. These acts constitute hate-motivated criminal offenses prohibited by the Criminal Code, and/or hate acts and civil rights violations prohibited by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

CRARR calls on members of various Asian communities to remain vigilant, document and report these acts to local Asian organizations and other civil rights able to help bring their complaints to the appropriate authorities. People of Asian descent or perceived to be Asian must resist hate and not remain silent by using the following tips:

• If they are victims of physical assault, they can use reasonable force to react and protect themselves from harm. The best reaction is to call for help. If they are the target of racist insults, jokes or other verbal taunts, they should not react verbally or physically. Instead, they should note down the physical description, videotape or take a picture, whenever possible, of the aggressor, or the aggressor’s car license plate;

• They should note down details such as the date, time and place of the offense; a short description of the incident, and where possible, the names and phones of individuals who can act as witnesses;

• If they have any physical injury, or psychological injury (stress, anxiety, depression, loss of sleep and appetite, etc.), they need to consult a doctor or go to the emergency ward of a hospital for a check-up;

• If their property is the target of hate vandalism, they need to take pictures of or videotape the damages, and safeguard any evidence of these damages;

• They should contact local Asian community and civil rights groups such as CRARR before contacting the police (unless they face imminent harm) and the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. These groups can help them put together the information and accompany them to file complaints with the appropriate authorities.

CRARR strongly condemns the association of the pandemic with any particular ethnic or racial group, and all acts of scapegoating that exploit the current state of emergency to promote racism and xenophobia. It calls on all members of society to stand in solidarity to prevent the destructive social effects of COVID-19, including hate, division and violence.