Snapshots of Asian America: A Look at the Movement's Spirit and Legacy
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Chinatown tenant in his residential hotel room, surrounded by photos, leaflets, and posters about the International Hotel struggle. Movement activists learned a great deal from the tenants of Chinatown-Manilatown residential hotels. Gathering knowledge from the community became an important part of activist organizing everywhere, which Ray Tasaki experienced in Los Angeles (see text below).

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Wherever There is Oppression


I began to see how the system created conditions with individuals seeking refuge and escape using alcohol, drugs, religion, gang banging ... how the system was exploiting all the other poorer Third World countries and how all this affected conditions in our communities.

We started the Asian Involvement Office which brought together organizers and volunteers ... in Los Angeles Little Tokyo. We also started the Asian American Hard Core ... to help people get away from drugs, and deal with problems that were manifested by capitalist society.

We organized activities like working with others in the community who were also having problems. We organized sessions so they could learn and talk with people about the conditions that made people turn to drugs and gangs -- the alienation they felt and what was needed to change themselves and the world. In doing this, their own transformation would begin to happen. They got involved in community work and began to rely less and less on needing to get loaded.

We focused on the most vulnerable sectors like youth and elderly, drug addicts, convicts, and gang members. We focused on the alienation and the things they felt and experienced in this society. That's what worked for me. We began to transform into revolutionaries and develop a revolutionary consciousness, and change our outlook on life. We used as our models the Black Panthers and Brown Berets and their spirit of "Serve the People."

[01 Transforming Ourselves]     [02 Not Without Struggle]     [03 Serve the People]
[04 Listening to the Small Voice]     [05 The Big Picture]     [06 Revolution]
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