On Saturday, a group of about 100 people from the Omaha community came together to stand in solidarity with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have been experiencing a dramatic increase in hate crimes and racist incidents since the pandemic began. About 40 percent of the victims were Chinese-Americans.
Chen said Saturday's rally is an important step toward overcoming hate and discrimination.
Just this week police found two instances of vandalism targeting the Asian community in downtown Toronto which they are investigating as hate crimes.
"Words have consequences, and it's called the coronavirus", Gotsdiner said. Earlier this month, a man opened fire at a massage parlor and other locations in the southern state of Georgia, killing eight people, including six of Asian descent.
The lawmakers spoke outside Gold Spa, one of the shooting sites, where the ground was covered with bouquets and tree branches that spelled out, "Love".
"I feel happy, I feel proud because somehow we're going to make this work and we're going to be respected again", Ma said.
Rally attendee Steve Ding says he no longer allows his family to take public transit, and knows many others who have felt obliged to alter their daily routines for their personal safety. "And I see Asian women showing to the community that we're not silent, that we're strong, and that we will be heard".
There were at least 1,441 bias incidents reported by New Jersey law enforcement agencies past year - a 45% increase from 2019, according to preliminary data released by the NJ State Police.
"Stop Asian hate", read dozens of people's placards. "But the time for our silence is up", she said to a cheering crowd. Dosanjh offered a challenge to politicians holding office across Canada.
"We also want to see our leaders reject any forms of racism and gender discrimination". She said turning a blind eye is ignoring the issue.
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