Washington, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- Several protests and vigils were held Saturday across the United States against violent racism and hate crimes, days after a spree of shootings in Atlanta killed eight people, including six women of Asian origin.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta to express solidarity with the Asian-American community.
They waved American flags and flashed placards with slogans against racism, xenophobia, and misogyny.
The protesters demanded justice for the victims of shootings at three massage parlors on Tuesday.
People driving cars honked their horns in support of the protest.
In New York, hundreds of protesters gathered in Times Square to march to Manhattan’s Chinatown.
Chinatown in San Francisco, California, on the west coast of the country, saw a similar protest.
Actress Sandra Oh, better known for her starring roles in the medical drama series “Grey’s Anatomy” and the spy thriller series “Killing Eve,” led the “Stop Asian Hate” demonstration In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The American-Canadian actress is the daughter of South Korean immigrants.
She addressed the crowd to thank the organizers for the protests and giving people of Asian descent an opportunity to speak out.
“For many in our community, this is the first time that we have been able to voice our fear and anger. I am truly grateful that everyone is willing to listen,” she said.
The rally participants chanted slogans like “I’m proud to be Asian” and “I belong here.”
The Tuesday shootings followed a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes, with many linking it to the voices that Asian-Americans were to be blamed for the coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
The suspect, however, later admitted that he fired on the massage because he “blamed” them for his sex addiction and wanted to “eliminate the temptation.”
On Friday, US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris condemned rising hate crimes in American society during a visit to Atlanta.
He said people of Asian descent were “attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed (and) verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, killed” in the US since the pandemic began.
Harris, in her address, said the shootings were a “heinous act of violence” as hate crimes and discrimination against Asian-Americans had risen dramatically over the last year and more.
“Racism is real in America, and it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America, and always has been. Sexism, too,” said Harris, whose mother was an Indian and father a Jamaican. EFE-EPA