New Yorkers continued to rally against anti-Asian bigotry Saturday.
Hundreds gathered in Foley Square carrying signs to rise up again Asian hate and chanting “this is what community looks like” as the organizer of the demonstration, Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation broke down in tears.
“It’s been terrifying for our community,” Yoo told the assembled crowd. “We are hit by the pandemic and we are encountering racism that is unbearable,” she added, crying.
The protesters demand more immediate safety measures for all Asian New Yorkers. They want the violent attacks to stop.
According to the NYPD, there were 28 hate crimes against Asian Americans in 2020, up from 3 in 2019.
And not all anti-Asian attacks are classified as hate crimes.
Just this past week, an elderly Asian woman was thrown to the ground in Flushing on a day when three other Asian New Yorkers were assaulted.
Thursday night, a man of Asian descent was stabbed near Chinatown.
“Stop Asian hate, stop it now,” Mayor Bill de Blasio shouted in Foley Square. At the podium, the mayor, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York State Attorney General Letitia James and many others all spoke about the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
But it was victim Noel Quintana who won the crowd’s sympathy when he showed the scar across his face. Quintana said a man slashed him in a crowded subway car earlier this month for no apparent reason and no one came to his aide.
“I am so sad,” Quintana said. “There were a lot people there and no one helped.”
Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang said more must be done.
“We need a dedicated hate crimes task force instead of the volunteer unit, which it is right now,” Yang said.
Those in attendance were of all ages and races.
Jennifer Kim brought her 7-year-old daughter.
“It’s important to show her that Asian American communities are under attack,” Kim said.
Ron Link is a white Bronx resident who attended the rally.
“I just want to see and bear witness and be part of a stand against racism,” he said.
New York City has just established a new website called “Stop Asian Hate” to help people report anti-Asian attacks, focusing on the subway in particular.