Little Saigon Protesters Call For Vietnam Democracy

Little Saigon April 30 12 R Scott Moxley5.jpg
Little Saigon today: Freedom for Vietnam!
While most Americans may have forgotten the anniversary, memories of South Vietnam remain poignant in Orange County's Little Saigon region, the world's largest Vietnamese refugee community.

On Bolsa Avenue sidewalks this afternoon a youthful, energetic crowd of several dozen protesters gathered, waved South Vietnamese and American flags, and repeatedly chanted their wish:

No, it wasn't for better pho, cheaper crawfish or more coffee bars with beautiful girls.

They really want: "Freedom for Vietnam!"

(They also thanked the United States.)

Countless drivers passing Asian Garden Mall honked their vehicle horns and yelled in support.

April 30 12 Little Saigon 6 R Scott Moxley.jpg
R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
The South still lives in Little Saigon
Vietnam's leaders, who have softened dictatorial policies in recent year as a way to increase U.S. corporate investment, still refuse to grant their citizens basic freedoms of speech, religion and assembly.

Earlier this month, Vietnamese authorities arrested--Nguyen Quoc Quan--a Vietnamese American in Ho Chi Minh City for allegedly plotting to disrupt that country's re-unification celebrations.

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18 comments
Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

I have a number of Vietnamese friends that travel to Vietnam often. (They love their US Passports) if it was so terrible & repressive, why would they want to return? (perhaps to live like Kings/Queens for a while) I have a few chat friends in Vietnam, (however, who knows who people in chat really are) I understand some Vietnamese people here own profitable businesses in Vietnam. I am curious, I was thought that under communism, individuals, (especially foreigners) were not allowed to "own" businesses or property? Look for the "Made in" labels in much of your clothing, You may see a lot of it is made in Vietnam.

Just curious though, wouldn't it be much more effective to protest the Vietnamese Government in Vietnam than here in Lil Saigon? Seems like Protesting Chase Bank in the lobby of Wells Fargo?

Just some food for thought.

peaceloveunderstanding
peaceloveunderstanding

Such a convoluted issue. Thankful Vietnamese are happy the US intervened while many Americans still feel we had no business being there. How many innocent Vietnamese did we kill? The Gulf Of Tonkin incident that launched our participation into the war has since been proven to have been made up!

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

 I was last in Hanoi in late 2008. 

eyedrd
eyedrd

As a Vietnamese born during the war and grew up part of my childhood under the communist regime, I would like to thank the sacrifices of the American people in this war against the aggression of the communists. Many young Americans died for the protection of freedom in South Vietnam. I know the generosity nature of the American people who did not want that war. The war was wanted by the communists because they wanted to bring the whole Vietnam under their rule and their international duty to spread the communism.The Americans’ final day in Vietnamhttp://www.eyedrd.org/2012/04/...National Mourning Day (Quốc Hận 30-4 2012) of Vietnam Commemorated Across the Worldhttp://www.eyedrd.org/2012/04/...

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

I know this will get me thrown out of Lil' Saigon, but Hanoi is a pretty cool place and the people sure don't act like they're repressed.  Everyone has a job in tech, new clothes, and a super neato motoscooter.   Honestly, they seem very happy. 

Maybe it's time for the older generation to forget the past and move on?

Brian Ho
Brian Ho

Thing is, protesting against communism in Vietnam would possibly end up in several beatings and handcuffs(since no one would want to risk it from the start). It's better to protest here since we have freedom of speech and we have the possibility of convincing politicians to cut off our trades and interactions with the VCs.My Viet teacher(the man who arranged the whole protest) taught me more than the language, but also the values of a Vietnamese person and how to be a decent man.

Chucky
Chucky

I am a vietnamese born in Saigon during the war, and I must say you are an idiot. Most Vietnamese in Vietnam do not agree with you. Only loser traitor like you thanking Americans in destroying and killing Vietnamese. Go back and learn history moron.

QT
QT

DITTO!

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

 I am curious, Have you been to Ha noi or anywhere in Vietnam?In the past 5 years

Chucky
Chucky

Asking America to cutting off trades and interactions to Vietnam is like asking people to cut off their right arm because you don't like their right arm. Good luck.

H22aex
H22aex

It was a horrible war that never should happened. All Vietnamese should know who Daniel Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers is. They should watch the documentary "The Most Dangerous Man in America Daniel Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers". 

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

They can be a bit reserved; not because they are snobby, but because they lack confidence in their English skills.  The population is very young; average age is ~29yrs. old. 

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