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White Riot - The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver

White Riot

The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver

By Henry Tsang
Categories: Visual Arts, Photography, History, BIPOC, Asian Literature
Paperback : 9781551529196, 192 pages, 2023


Essays and photographs that document the anti-Asian riots of 1907 in the context of contemporary anti-Asian sentiment.

White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver explores the conditions leading up to and the impact of a demonstration and parade in Vancouver, Canada, organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League and the ensuing mob attack on the city's Chinese Canadian and Japanese Canadian communities. Emblematic of a systemically racist era, White Riot reveals the social and political environment of the time, when racialized communities were targeted through legislated as well as physical acts of exclusion and violence.

Based on 360 Riot Walk, a 360-degree video walking tour by artist and author Henry Tsang, White Riot offers an intersectional approach to this pivotal moment in the history of racialized communities and a cultural and social context for understanding for the current wave of anti-Asian sentiment. It features photographs of the riots colourized by Tsang as well as those of contemporary Vancouver where the riots took place. Essays by Tsang and others speak to the colonial times that preceded and followed the 1907 riots, as well as issues that Chinese and Japanese communities (and other racialized communities) in North America are facing today. White Riot poses the question: in the current ethos of anti-racism and decolonization, what does it take to reconcile our collective histories within the legacy of white supremacy?

Includes essays by the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, Paul Englesberg, Melody Ma, Angela May and Nicole Yakashiro, Jeffery R. Masuda, Aaron Franks, Audrey Kobayashi and Trevor Wideman, and Andy Yan, with a foreword by Patricia E. Roy.


Riots are just the tip of the iceberg of racist policies that have manufactured a climate of racial capitalism and white supremacy on these unceded Coast Salish lands also known as Vancouver. White Riot invites us to practise solidarity with one another by resisting precarity and respecting everyone's right to eat and to remain alive, in community and with dignity. -Rita Wong, author and co-editor of Downstream: Reimagining Water

White Riot is an unsettling, shattering must-read. This crafted justice project sets a new standard for voicing and unpacking the entangled cultures of British settler colonial violence, domination, and resistance. Storytelling brings about the reckoning of white supremacy past and present in a locally grounded, vividly accessible way. -John Kuo Wei Tchen, co-author of Yellow Peril!: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear

The book includes seven essays from various authors that provide a rich intellectual context for the central story of violent white bigotry and the courageous resistance to that bigotry among various communities of colour ... Highly recommended. -Vancouver Sun

Historical photos, many of them beautifully colourized, anchor essays by a series of contributors who put the riots into contemporary context, including the recent rise of anti-Asian racism. -The Globe and Mail