Vietnamese-Americans Protest Plano Concert

After an attempt by a group of Vietnamese-Americans to get the city of Plano to cancel a concert put on by Vietnamese artists, hundreds turn out to protest the event.

Inside the Plano Centre a crowd gathered Saturday night-- waiting patiently for the start of the show.  While they listened to the concert produced by Saigon Entertainment, a crowd grew outside the venue.

"These people are here to let the world and everybody, including those audience in there know that the Vietnam government is not what it seems to be," said Tarrant County Commissioner-elect, Andy Nguyen.

For the protesters, the show performed by Vietnamese artists, is a propaganda tool orchestrated by the communist government of Vietnam.

"When these singers come over here to sing it creates an illusion that Vietnam is a good country, Vietnam now has freedom, Vietnam now respects human rights and religious freedom," said Nguyen.  "In contrary, that is not the case."

Nguyen and his family migrated to the United States decades ago after Vietnam became a communist country.

"My father who was a president of a bank, a local bank.  He was imprisoned 8 years for being a president of a bank," said Nguyen. "The Vietnamese communists took away our house.  We had to live homeless for awhile."

A story of hardship and horror shared by many of the protesters.

"My dad was in the war and he was a prisoner of war for ten years," said Keller resident, Tuan Nguyen.  "They went through a hard time.  We were forced to migrate to the United States for a better life."

It's why some say the protest is so important.  The goal is to send a message to the Vietnamese government.

"We know what you're trying to do and that's not okay," said Keller resident, Ngoc Nguyen.

The president of Saigon Entertainment said she has no affiliation with the Vietnamese government and that the concert is just entertainment.  She believes Vietnam is not as bad as the protesters claim.

"Whatever they say, you can't stop them," said Lien Pham, president of Saigon Entertainment.  "They have to make up stories or they have to say something."

NBC 5 asked her if she believed some protesters were fabricating stories about having to leave Vietnam because of the communist government.  Her response-- "I don't involve with the politics," she said.

In the end, the show had to go on, but as long as the curtain rises in North Texas, so will emotions.

Plano police were out in full force at the Plano Centre Saturday night to make sure the protest remained peaceful.  No incidents were reported.

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