New York Asian Americans stage 'Stop-Asian-Hate' rally
Over 10,000 Asian Americans gathered in New York on Sunday for a "Stop-Asian-Hate" rally.
The demonstrators assembled at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan and marched to City Hall Park and across the Brooklyn Bridge before ending at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn.
Local officials, victims of hate crimes, and people from various ethnic communities participated in the event.
The Asian participants included Chinese Americans and hundreds of people with Nepali, Myanmar, or Malaysian origins.
During the event, John Chan, convener of New York-based Asian American advocacy group the Coalition of Asian Americans for Civil Rights (CAACR) and chairman of Asian American Community Empowerment, lashed out at the inaction of the government in the face of rising anti-Asian hate crimes in New York.
Decrying the government's silence on Asian hate crimes, Chan encouraged Asian Americans to get registered and cast their votes.
"We're not begging for respect. We should unite together and make our own decision," said Chan, adding that too many people now are afraid of walking out of their homes.
Chan appeals to the U.S. federal government to make April 4 the "Stop Hate Day" in the United States.
A couple of anti-Asian hate and violence cases were reported in New York last week despite continuous denouncement of hate violence and crimes from different sides.
"We hope all Asian Americans come out and speak out for our own rights and benefits," said Niu Hong, chairman of the Federation of Chinese American Associations of New York.
Niu said the federation organized scores of Chinese American groups to join the rally to demonstrate that "we're not silent anymore. And we're also Americans."
Niu called on Asian Americans to unite together and fight for their own rights and interests.
"I have to participate in this rally because it concerns everyone and my own future. If I didn't come to the rally, I would regret it in the rest of my life," said Guoke Haddad, who came to New York from China over six years ago.
As a housewife, Haddad said she doesn't have to come to the event, but she wants to make some impact.
Haddad's husband also joined her in the rally and bought her a pepper spray in case of any accidents.
Organizers of the rally urged the government to track cases and data on hate crimes, give top priority to the issue, and a crackdown on hate speeches and actions.
Politicians should stop defaming and scapegoating Asian Americans right now, said the CAACR, which also calls on law enforcement departments to further fight discrimination and hate violence and impose harsh punishment on perpetrators.
Hate crime prevention divisions should provide more language service to Asian communities and victims and join hands with local communities to work out strategies, stressed the CAACR, adding that governments at both state and city levels should raise public awareness to fight Asian hate crimes and discrimination by providing people with more related information.
The government also needs to provide more resources and funds to non-profit organizations on crime prevention and education so as to safeguard solidarity in diversified communities, it said.
(Source: Xinhua News Agency)