On Saturday, August 27, a peaceful rally was held at Haggard Park in Plano. The rally was in response to a recent incident in which a woman was accused of threatening and assaulting a group of South Asian women, shown through a a viral cell phone video

A Texas-based group by the name of South Asian American Voter Empowerment (SAAVE) planned and organized the rally in order to speak up against violence and racism and support a more inclusive Texas. 

“We were just appalled and didn’t know what to do,” executive director and founder of SAAVE Chanda Parboo told Local Profile. “We decided on a rally.” 

According to Parboo, around 200 people attended the rally. Key figures in the community spoke to the crowd, and participants held homemade signs in support. Some of those figures included councilmember Julie Holmer, Romero Luna and Chief of Police Ed Drain. 

Parboo hoped the rally would highlight the fact that South Asian Americans are just as American as anyone else living here, and they should be treated as such. “I’ve lived in Texas over 45 years, and one thing I’ve been told multiple times during my years here is to go back where I came from,” Parboo explained. “It’s not okay. We are Americans.” 

Plano police department’s crime against persons unit is investigating the incident as an alleged hate crime, and Esmerelda Upton was arrested and bonded out of jail for $10,000. Upton was initially charged with assault bodily injury and terroristic threats. But a press release from the Plano Police Department stated that more charges may be coming in the future. 

SAAVE was created in order to unify and increase political power from the South Asian American community around Texas. Their presence is shown around Texas not only in forms of rally, but also through voting events and community outreach.