A ‘Stop Asian Hate’ march took place in Koreatown along with other demonstrations over the weekend, in response to the devastating spike in incidents nationwide.
On Saturday, Korean American Federation of Los Angeles and Koreatown Youth and Community Center, along with 20 community organizations brought hundreds of Angelenos together to stand against the rise in racially-driven attacks both locally and nationally.
Sadly this isn’t a new occurrence, but it seems the fatal Atlanta shootings have prompted an increase in both incidents and awareness of the violence as well as everyday microaggressions endured by Americans of Asian descent in the country. In L.A. alone, hate crimes against the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community are up 114%, according to the Civil and Human Rights and Equity Department.
The #stopasianhate rally in Koreatown began at Berendo Street and carried on along Olympic Boulevard with a troupe of drummers leading the way. Demonstrators marched with signs listing the names of the Atlanta shooting victims and messages like “I Am Not A Virus,” “I Don’t Look American? You Don’t Look Native” and “Stop Killing Asians.”
Korean youths drumming to @BTS_twt’ “Dynamite” at the #StopAsianHate rally in Koreatown, LA. 💜🌈💜🌈 pic.twitter.com/2hAU6af1SY
— ✨ Yo Iz So!⁷ ✨ (@ssoyunum) March 27, 2021
The march ended at Normandie Avenue, where a rally was held. CNN’s Lisa Ling urged people to defend their fellow citizens saying, “There are some street vendors who are here…Please say to them, ‘I will protect you.’”
CNN’s Lisa Ling calls for solidarity btw communities of color and asks crowd to submit to an exercise where they tell someone next to them: “I will protect you. Please protect me.”
“There are some street vendors who are here…Please say to them, ‘I will protect you.’” pic.twitter.com/LyxwdqXrTw
— Josie Huang (@josie_huang) March 27, 2021
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell was one of the many officials that joined the rallies.
Yesterday, I joined leaders and allies of the AAPI community to march in solidarity against hate and anti-Asian racism. As someone who is Native American and Gay, I understand the importance of visibility. pic.twitter.com/a9yyXpUHFA
— Mitch O’Farrell (@MitchOFarrell) March 29, 2021
In other parts of Los Angeles, more marches took place over the weekend all with a similar message of “enough is enough.” Thought leaders, locals, and prominent figures showed up and shared their stories, giving others an idea of the Asian experience in the country.
Happening now! #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate pic.twitter.com/HxJbDve4Lu
— ANSWER Los Angeles (@AnswerLA) March 27, 2021
Large groups were also gathered outside City Hall and Little Tokyo.
Great day to be in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles today. #StopAsianHate pic.twitter.com/5KAnkreN6A
— Chris Chan (@ChrisChanSD) March 28, 2021
The surge in anti-Asian hate crime has mostly correlated with the spread of the pandemic but mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia has ended the silence amongst communities and sparked a powerful movement. It calls for xenophobia to end and for people to speak up against discrimination.
Featured Image: Jason Leung via Unsplash