Oakland Chinatown leader Carl Chan is behind a strike of several hundred businesses in Oakland today.
The merchants say they’re tired of being victimized by criminals and are holding their action to put pressure on the city to do something about it.
The protest is perhaps one of the biggest crises facing Mayor Sheng Thao since taking office in January.
“We may sacrifice maybe one day, people may close the entire day, or maybe two hours, but that is a time when we have to say enough is enough,” Chan said to Fox2.
LeCheval, a popular Vietnamese restaurant that has been open for 30 years, says it’s had it. It’s closing for good this Saturday.
“It’s very sad. It’s very tough to make the painful decision to shut it down because there are a lot of memories,” owner Son Tran said. “I really don’t blame the mayor of Oakland. I really don’t blame anyone. They have to do their job, and it takes time to bring the crime rates down. But I ran out of money, and I got tired of the criminals around here.”
Several customers told CBS5 the restaurant will be missed. They blame crime for a decline in business.
“When I used to come here, we’d wait until the place closed down, and we’d leave,” customer Nancy Ong said. “But now it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s getting dark. Maybe we should leave now.’ But we try to resist that because we know we have businesses to support.”
Chan says the strikers are demanding increased funding to fight crime and greater law enforcement. They are tired of promises and want action.
“We cannot wait any longer, otherwise many of our small businesses will be closing down one after the other,” Chan said to NBC11.
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please take advantage of a $30,000 matching grant challenge. An anonymous donor has offered to match dollar for dollar every tax-deductible donation made to Asian American Media Inc from November 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The money will be used to fund the addition of a new reporter and to produce content for limited English-speaking Asian immigrants. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.