Important updates since my last email on Wednesday:


The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) joins in sending our condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the World Trade Center tragedy. We condemn these acts of terrorist violence against innocent people.

We are also concerned about reports of harassment, intimidation and violence against South Asian Americans, particularly Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sikhs, and other Indians in New York City. We call on all New Yorkers to speak out against the backlash against South Asian, Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim communities that have become the targets of violence.

AALDEF will convene a meeting this Saturday, September 15 at 1:30 PM to discuss events that have unfolded in the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy and their impact on Asian American communities.

We want concerned individuals to share information, take preventive measures against hate violence, and discuss ways to ensure that people of color do not become the targets of racial profiling based on their race, religion or national origin.

AALDEF will also arrange private, confidential meetings with individuals who want to report incidents of hate violence and anti-immigrant harassment or to seek legal counseling.

Please call 212-760-9110 or 212-966-5932 in advance to confirm your attendance at the September 15th meeting or to set up an appointment.

AALDEF midtown office, 151 West 30 Street, 10th floor (near 7th Avenue)
(#1/9 2/3 trains to 34th Street/Penn Station OR B/D/Q/F W/S N/R trains to 34th Street/Herald Sqaure)

Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 1:30 pm

Sin Yen Ling, 212-760-9110, x476 or email sling@aaldef.org
Margaret Fung, 212-966-5932, x201 or email mfung@aaldef.org

2.) This is a list of needs for Volunteers involved with the relief effort at the WTC site. Please bring to Jacob Javitz Center at 34th Street and 11th Avenue.

Immediate Needs

Saline Solution
Medical Tape
Gauze Pads
Alcohol Swabs
Antibiotic Cream
Infusion Sets

Additional Needs

Long Sleeved Shirts
Work Boots
Work Gloves
Medical Supplies
Dust Masks/Surgical Masks
Safety Goggles
Cell Phone Chargers

3.) Something to consider, as was pointed out in an email recently:

Fri, 14 Sep 2001 03:36:56 -0400

i just attended a peace vigil at stanford, and one of my friends spoke up, adding a dimension to the discussion i'd never heard. he's palestinian and lebanese, and has spent most of his life in the middle east. he talked to his parents shortly after the bombing, and they told him that, far from "celebrating in the streets," most palestinians are completely terrified about US retaliation. of course, there are some who were happy to hear the news-- there are extremists everywhere. but realistically, they have much more to fear than to celebrate.

secondly, and this was the most frightening, he pointed out that, because the time difference between here and the middle east is close to 11 hours (west coast time), it was night time there when the attacks occurred. yet the footage of palestinians "celebrating the terrorist attack" is shot in broad daylight. the media has been playing footage that obviously could not have been shot directly after the incident. this is absolutely terrifying. the news stations have essentially lied to millions of american viewers, assuming 1. that nobody would notice this discrepancy, and 2. that if noticed, nobody would care.

i am in no way condoning the violence that took place today, but i feel it is critical for us to control our emotions enough to see the real truth in this matter and attempt to grasp the multiple sides of this issue. if indeed this is "another pearl harbor," as so many are saying, i would hate to see a repeat of what happened after that bombing-- blatant persecution of and internment of japanese-americans-- this time perpetrated against arab-americans. i know most of you agree with me on this anyway...but just a reminder to KEEP AN OPEN MIND. and never believe everything the mainstream media feeds ya.

More Thoughts:

One Liberty Plaza has since collapsed, and there were some evacuation measures at the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Plaza, though I think they have proved that it's safe to go back to these buildings now. The Millenium Hotel is swaying from left to right, and is thought to perhaps be one of the next buildings to fall. I'm sure the asbestos is perhaps not reaching where I am (I'm on 23rd street), but I really felt the dust yesterday while walking around, and I've been noticing that I've been feeling something in my throat and have been coughing. I'm guessing it's the dust. The ambulences and police cars continue to pass, blaring sirens.

Yesterday, some of the rescue workers have started writing their name and social security number on their arms in marker, just in case something were to happen to them. I've donated to the Red Cross and other organizations that are directly involved in the relief efforts. I've also signed up for volunteering, and am preparing for the 7pm vigil today. I know there's one in Union square, people starting to gather around at 6pm, lasting till about 8pm. However, there are many vigil venues at which to gather today, and even if you may not be able to attend one of them, please observe the 7pm vigil by simply stepping out your door, giving a moment of silence, lighting a candle, all to send the messsage: WE WILL STAND UNITED, AND WILL NOT TOLERATE TERRORISM. I have been collecting various messages, updates on how to/where to help, how to show solidarity, and many others via the barrage of emails and other venues, and will try to keep abreast of them, updating here once and a while. Shortly, I will be sending out a special email in my upcoming Bamboo Girl Email Update that I send out to those who are on my mailing list. Usually I use the update to talk/inform on things going on in my neck of the Bamboo Girl woods, but I am using it in a different way this time around, hoping to bring an awareness on the various views, important resources, and other items relevant to this outrageous tragedy.

I am wondering if this means an impending WW3, but in the meantime will keep a solidarity, torn between wanting to torture and annihilate the bastards, but also vying for peace for various reasons, one of the more important ones being that it will bring only more destruction, and possibly something even more that will negatively effect the outcome of our collective humanity.

Solidarity, strength, and hope...
Sabrina Margarita


I can finally write now. All day yesterday, I was in a daze and my eyes were glued to the tv. I fell asleep watching it at around 5am, and even then, I was tossing and turning, the latest updates making their way into my REM sleep.

Thanks to those who've emailed me, called, and left messages (even calling constantly because our phone lines were out for a while). I got messages from friends, cousins, old boyfriends, Bamboo Girl Zine readers,.... From the Philippines, Hawaii, Cali, from within Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Thanks guys for your concern. Physically I'm totally fine, but I am mentally worn out, and have a vice grip of a headache. I have yet to learn who did not survive.

Yesterday I left my apartment to go to work. As I was leaving my building, one of the tenants ran down the stairs and said to the doorman in a panic, "Do you have a tv?" He said, "No." "Put it on! There's been a crash at the World Trade Center!" I was too groggy for it to register, and I could not believe it was true. I was like, "what?!"

I went out and took the cab to work, as I was late as usual. As the cabbie and I passed 6th & 5th Avenues crosstown, I saw a bunch of people on the street in clusters, looking downtown. So I went to look too, and I saw the enormous World Trade Center, gigantic, but with a large gash in both Towers, large billows of black smoke pushing into the sky. I was in awe, "Holy shit!" The cabbie then declared, "You didn't hear it? There's a big crash at the World Trade Center!" He then turned up the radio, which gave a play by play of what was going on. At this time, I don't think the 2nd plane had hit the one Tower yet.

I got up to my office, and everyone was in front of the tv, watching the events unfold. I joined them. My office was in a panic, watching the smoke, disbelieving of what they saw. Everyone, including me, were sitting in front of the tv, as the footage of the 2nd plane went into the Tower, with all of us murmuring, "Oh... my... god......"

Minutes later we watched live as the first Tower started to crumble after an explosion. All the smoke and debri masking the building as it fell, me and a female coworker both held our mouths, going, "My god!! It's falling!" A couple minutes after that, the other Tower started to shake, and started to collapse as well. We watched in almost a slow motion, letting out a kind of yelp, we were all beside ourselves. We exclaimed, "It's gone! The World Trade Center is TOTALLY gone!" Even though the dust hadn't settled yet (it's a day after and it still hasn't settled), we all knew this event changed everything. New York lost their skyline and what it represented. We were all frustrated because we couldn't make phone calls out, but we could receive calls. Everyone scrambled to use their cell phones to call their friends, and checking up on relatives. Some left to give blood, others left the building. As I walked crosstown to go back home, I saw men in army fatigues directing traffic, and army trucks driving through the streets, hardly any cars passing through the 23rd street thoroughfare, which is odd at any time of the day. I was one of the myriads of people on foot. One of my friends who lives in Brooklyn but works in the city had to walk from Manhattan, across the bridge, and to his home in Brooklyn, as the majority of trains were closed. Most of the masses were walking up from downtown. There was a nervous, anxious charge in the air, and I just wanted to get the fuck home. I passed some doctors and nurses who were walking in the street in their uniforms. On my way home, I passed the same 6th and 5th Avenues I had passed earlier that day. Where I had previously seen 2 injured black buildings in front of a mass of black smoke, there was a large void instead, sunlight shining in places it had never reached before. Absolutely NOTHING.

New York will never be the same. The U.S. will never be the same. I worry about the ramifications, and results of this act. I worry we're going into the next world war. I worry if the terrorist job is not yet finished. I am also angry. In the meantime, I'm already hearing of death threats being thrown at Muslim people I know of. I start to hear on the radio that many New York men want to enlist for the Army, if only to take revenge on the wackos (or who they think are the wackos) who did this.

I see the footage of those who had jumped off the buildings. I heard a witness tell of a man and woman who held hands as they both jumped off one of them. I hear of the hijacked passengers' cellular phone calls, reporting that their pilots had been stabbed to death with knives.

Today, I walk around, as streams of police cars, army trucks, and ambulences pass by on a consistent basis. My boss cries as she tells me that her best friend's fiance was on the 91st floor of one of the buildings. They look and look for him, but she said that in her heart, her friend knows he's dead. They were going to get married this year. They're checking hospitals and other places in their frantic efforts to find him.

Important Numbers:

Hotline for families seeking information about victims and survivors: 1-800-331-0075.
Families of American Airlines passengers can contact the airline at 1-800-245-0999.
Families of United Airlines passengers can contact the airline at 1-800-932-8555.
Family members of military personnel seeking information should call 1-800-984-8523 (Army), 1-877-663-6772 (Navy and Marine Corps.), 1-800-253-9276 (Air Force).

Disaster response: How you can help:

From donating blood to providing tips and info to the FBI, here are ways you can help.

To donate blood, call the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or America's Blood Centers at 1-888-BLOOD-88 to schedule an appointment.

To donate money to the Red Cross for assisting victims of the attacks, call 1-800-HELP-NOW.

To donate to the United Way fund to help the victims of Tuesday's attacks and their families, call (212) 251-4035.

To make donations to the Salvation Army for helping the victims, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

To provide tips and information to the FBI about these attacks, visit http://www.ifccfbi.gov.

You can help the victims and families of this tragedy by making a donation to one of the following organizations:

World Trade Center Relief Fund
PO Box 5028
Albany, NY 12205

The New York Community Trust
The September 11th Fund
2 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Backlash against perceived Arab Americans and perceived Moslems:

Urgent request from Sonia Chopra, who has written many great stories for South Asian and mainstream publications.
PLEASE REPLY TO HER DIRECTLY AT: Sonia Chopra sonia.chopra@worldnet.att.net.

Many of you may know about incidents, or about emergency organizing at colleges, schools, and mosques.

From: "Sonia Chopra"
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 16:28:21 -0500


I am a stringer for The New York Times.

They are working on a story for tomorrow's paper about backlash against perceived Arab Americans, and perceived Moslems, in the wake of yesterday's events -- which as we know affects all South Asians of all religions, and other ethnicities too.

If you know of specific incidents in NY-- in communities, or connected with schools or mosques...
Or if you know how religious or community groups are preparing or dealing with this issue..
Or if you know anyone who has been harrasssed... Has anything happened with you that you want to share?

Thanks Much. PLEASE RESPOND ASAP AT: sonia.chopra@worldnet.att.net

-----Sonia Chopra

Report Anti-Asian Violence/Intimidation:

There have been some unconfirmed reports of harassment, intimidation and violence targeted against South Asians, particularly Sikhs, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis in the New York Metropolitan Area.

All incidents should be reported to Sinyen Ling, who handles anti-Asian violence for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The number is 212-760-9110 or 212-966-5932. Incidents can also be reported via email to: sling@aaldef.org.

All information will be kept confidential and in the custody of attorneys. It is very helpful to report as much specificity about the
incident as possible, such as the name and ethnicity of the victim, what happened, what was said, done, thrown, where the incident occurred, time of the incident, and description of the assailants.

For more information contact AALDEF at 212-760-9110 or 212-966-5932.

Glenn D. Magpantay, Esq.
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
99 Hudson Street; New York, NY 10013

All my prayers, thoughts, wishes...
Sabrina Margarita