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100 Years: Vancouver's Racist Riot

1907_riot On September 7, 1907, white racists rioted in Vancouver.  They attacked and rampaged through Chinatown, and they attacked and were beaten back from Japantown.  No one died, but only through luck.  The riot was spurred by a march of the Asiatic Exclusion League, a labour union-supported group of racists seeking to exclude all non-white labour from British Columbia.

We can tell ourselves that this was now a hundred years ago.  Unfortunately, the riot was only the beginning. Over the next fifteen or so years, these same racists managed to have laws passed that reduced Japanese, Indian and Chinese immigration to a trickle.  They also had the Native Canadians moved to reserves.  The Chinese Exclusion Act stayed on the books until 1947; and Natives were not given the vote until as late as 1960.

Canada's racist past is nowhere near as deep nor as broad as that in many countries, but it does exist, and we will be obliged to repeat our sins if we choose to forget the sins of our own history.

September 7, 2007 in B.C., Canada, History, Vancouver | Permalink


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Hi there,
Where did you find that image of the race riots from? I'm working on a project, and that image would be perfect, if i knew the source. Thanks!

Posted by: yik | Jun 29, 2011 4:40:50 PM