Activists rally across tri-state area to stop Asian hate

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Activists rallied across the tri-state area Sunday to demand an end to anti-Asian hate crimes, which have skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Remember, injustice to one ethnic group is an injustice to all Americans," said Qunbin Xiong, the president of the Main Line Chinese Culture Center.

He says the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes is leaving many people in his community scared to leave their homes.

"We are living in fear. I know a couple of the young kids are being harassed in the subway," Xiong said.

He joined the group AAPI For Change for the first rally of the day at City Hall in Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia police are investigating an attack on a 27-year-old Asian woman in Center City on Easter Sunday.

"Number one, register to vote and vote in every single election," he told the group.

The activists also planned to travel to Trenton and New York City to raise awareness about the 150% increase in crimes against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community since the pandemic began. Dozens of those cases have been in Philadelphia, including an incident in which a man attacked an Asian woman in Center City on Easter Sunday.

"One of the ways we can address all the issues we're facing in this city and around our country, from gun violence to Asian-American hate and crime, is through education, community, and then finding ways to work together," said Philadelphia Councilmember David Oh.

State Senator Sharif Street also joined the rally, as did other community activists and high school students.

Ian Sun is a sophomore at Radnor High School. He says after eight people were killed in the Atlanta Spa shootings in March, he felt the need to speak out about the racism facing his community.

"We do not want racism to really become another pandemic of the American virus," he said.

The rally also coincides with the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, recognizing the history and achievements of the community. The city is holding a virtual town hall for the AAPI community this Thursday.
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