'Stop Asian Hate' rallies held across SoCal and nationwide; demonstrators decry rise in violence

Sunday, March 28, 2021
'Stop Asian Hate' rallies held in Southern California and nationwide
Demonstrators again held rallies in Southern California and nationwide to condemn the recent spike in hate crimes against people of Asian descent in the U.S.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Demonstrators again held rallies in Southern California and nationwide on Saturday to condemn the recent spike in hate crimes against people of Asian descent in the U.S.

In Koreatown, a "Stop Asian Hate" solidarity march was led by a youth troupe of drummers who headed westbound on Olympic Boulevard from Berendo Street.

Hundreds of marchers carried signs with such phrases as "Stop Killing Asians,'' "Keep My Grandma Safe!'' "Enough is Enough'' and "Hate is a Virus.'' The march concluded at Normandie Avenue, where a rally was held.

"We need to continue to be loud and stand together to stop hate crimes,'' Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell said. "Now is not the time to be silent, let's continue to support each other and speak out against hate.''

The march and rally were organized by the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles in partnership with 20 community-based organizations.

The shootings earlier this month that left eight people dead in Atlanta, including six women of Asian descent, raised more concern about the nationwide spike in hate crimes and violent attacks against the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

Some say Asian Americans have been pushed to the breaking point.

"There's a lack of awareness and knowledge and education when it comes to the AAPI experience in America," said activist May Lee. "Because of that, people just don't understand that there has been oppression, there has been racism for so long. But the Asian community has sort of swallowed it."

Personal stories at the center of National Day of Action and Healing to stop anti-Asian hate crimes

In late February, a stranger attacked Matthew Leung at a bus stop in Rosemead with Leung's own walking stick, severing part of his finger.

"We want to tell the world ... that enough is enough," said Steven Kang, director of external affairs for the Koreatown Youth and Community Center in Los Angeles. "We are marching in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the AAPI community, as well as our allies in the African American and Latinx communities as well."

"Stop Anti-Asian Violence, Stop China-Bashing'' rallies were also held at Los Angeles City Hall and at the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega boulevards in West Hollywood, organized by the ANSWER Coalition, or Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.

Meanwhile, in San Bernardino, the Pure Land Foundation, an organization founded by Chinese philanthropist Bruno Wang, helped local families by bringing its mobile pantry to Pacific High School and distributing free food. Organizers said that, especially in light of recent events, they wanted to show that their community is just as much a part of the fabric that contributes to the success of America.

The organization that put on the event is predominantly run by Asian Americans, and with the rise of anti-Asian racism and violence, organizers said they want to be seen as part of the overall community.

What organizers described as "a community vigil and healing space to grieve and denounce violence against Asian Americans, misogyny, classism, racism and white supremacy'' was held Saturday at Barnes Park in Monterey Park. The event was organized by SGV Progressive Action, which bills itself as a "grassroots collective in the San Gabriel Valley acting in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.''

Many in attendance said unity is helping them heal.

During the vigil, speakers said recent violence against the AAPI community have stirred up painful memories.

"Things that I've experienced throughout my life, things that I know other Asian American women have experienced throughout their lives and we've repressed these memories and these pains because we needed to to survive," said Jennifer Tang.

In Hollywood on Friday night, activists honoring the victims of last week's deadly mass shooting in the Atlanta area held a candlelight vigil that brought traffic to a standstill on Sunset Boulevard.

Earlier Friday in the San Gabriel Valley, demonstrators marched through the streets to decry hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

City News Service contributed to this report.