CHINATOWN, Manhattan — Hundreds of people gathered in Columbus Park in Chinatown on Saturday for what was billed as a community rally against racist and misogynistic violence targeting Asian women.
It was organized by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Speaker after speaker told their stories about being victims of anti-Asian violence.
“On three separate incidents on the subway, I was a victim. People told me to go back to China… stop bringing swine flu… you’re dirty, you are nasty. These are not just fleeting moments or interpersonal issues but part of a larger systemic issue that we want everyone to recognize and start talking about,” said Allison Park, one of the speakers.
The group SafeWalks NYC was also at the rally to promote its services providing escorts from the subway system to anyone who feels unsafe. If you’d like to request help, visit them at their website or their Instagram page.
The rally was held just one day after police said a man attacked a plainclothes Asian police officer near Madison Square Garden on Friday afternoon.
The suspect, Juvian Rodriguez, was charged with harassment as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, menacing as a hate crime and criminal possession of a controlled substance, police said.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said this is the second time in one week that an Asian undercover police officer has witnessed or been a victim of a hate crime.
“We are out in force, we are out there in uniform and plainclothes,” he said. “We need New Yorkers to step up and continue to send us those tips.”
So far in New York City, there have been 39 anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police, compared to 28 through the same time in 2020.
The NYPD recently stepped up patrols in Chinatown and other neighborhoods to combat the spike in violence.
The department also deployed undercover Asian police officers and added two more detectives to its Asian Hate Crimes Task Force.
“The next person you target — whether it’s through speech, menacing activity or anything else, walking along a sidewalk or on a train platform — may be a plainclothes New York City police officer. So think twice,” Commissioner Shea said at the time.
If you or someone you know are experiencing anti-Asian hate, click here for resources.
Anyone who witnesses an incident can also find out more information on bystander intervention by clicking here.