The 1922 parliamentary resolution calling for an end to all Asian immigration galvanized Chinese communities across the country. The Liberal government (replacing the Conservatives in late 1921) focused its energies on pursuing Chinese exclusion while finding other solutions to limit Japanese and South Asian immigration. Chinese government representatives in Canada shared this information with Chinese Canadian leaders, and communities began to mobilize.
Many organizations and sectors of society rallied to organize opposition. Chinese Benevolent Associations played a leading role, communicating details of the proposed Exclusion Act and urging members to unite to defend their rights. Associations were set up in cities and small towns across Canada, collecting funds and arranging demonstrations. Trade unions such as the Chinese Labor Association of Vancouver, the Chinese Shingle Workers Federation, and the Chinese Produce Sellers group responded publicly to the proposed Exclusion Act with a counter-proposal. Protest only mounted going into 1923.
The article was from the book ‘1923: Challenging Racisms Past and Present‘ designed by John Endo Greenaway. The book is collectively published by Canada-China Focus and Stop Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Advocacy Group.
The cover photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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