The hardships of war continue to affect the Hmoob community, something that Xong Xiong is deeply aware of. This led her and other activists to protest the Iraq War by sitting in at Congressman Ron Kind’s office. Xong describes why she opposed the war, and how authorities handled the protest.
Location: 200 5th Ave. S, La Crosse, WI, 54601
My name is Xong Xiong. We were involved in this nonviolent protest. It happened at Kind’s office. There were a lot of us, I would say probably like around 25 to 30 people.
We were refusing to leave, and then they called an officer and he came in and then he gave us citations for trespassing. The war had nothing to do with Iraqis or Afghanis. We were there basically because of capitalist greed and the oil companies, and it had nothing to do with 9/11 or Saddam Hussein or whatever. But I think the jurors, I think they found us guilty because they thought that we were just like a bunch of troublemakers, and that it had nothing to do with Ron Kind so why were we in his office even though he supported the war and you know, but it was all based on a bunch of lies.
I think that people who have never been through war or lived through war or are associated with a family or a group of people who have been through war, really fantasizes about war because they watch too many movies. But when you live with people and when your family and like everything about who you are as a person is attached to a war, it’s a real thing. And you know, I lived in a refugee camp, you know, and I can, like, that is a result of a war, you know. Like you can’t even imagine what it means to have a third or like half of your family gone. And so, I think that, well, you know, what motivated me was that I didn’t want that to happen to other people, and the little that I could do to, to stop that, you know, I was gonna do it, because I see people who live it and who still suffer from it.