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Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered to take part in the rally and a march from Flushing Town Hall to a bakery where organizers said an Asian woman was shoved to the ground earlier this year.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards kicked off the event, flanked by dozens of other elected officials and community activists on the front steps of the building.
“Today, we send a strong message from the world’s borough that we will not be bystanders to hate,” Richards. “An attack on you is an attack on each and everyone of us.”
The rally’s leaders, who were joined by Rep. Grace Meng, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Mayor Bill de Blasio, delivered impassioned cries for an end to the violence, culminating in a chant of “stop Asian hate.”
“Instead we must continue to rise up, speak out and march to protect those living in fear of traveling the city that they have contributed to so greatly,” Donovan added.
Attorney General Tish James was also among those addressing the crowd on Saturday, mentioning a Harlem man still hospitalized after a brutal beating last week.
“In New York we’ve experienced the sharpest increase in this country with hate crimes against Asian Americans, up 223 percent from the same time last year,” James told the crowd.
A 49-year-old Manhattan man has been arrested in connection with last week’s brutal head stomp attack on a 61-year-old Asian man in East Harlem, cops say. Jarrod Powell was cuffed on two felony assault counts around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday. Police had been looking for him since Friday night’s attack near Third Avenue and East 125th Street. Erica Byfield reports.
“We as an Asian American community can not only come out with the racism is aimed at us. We have to come out when any other community is hurt,” Meng said.
The rally then took to the streets after the speeches, completing a loop around Flushing that passed by the bakery where a 52-year-old Asian American woman was attacked in February.
Nearly two weeks ago, the U.S. Senate passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which would establish a process for federal and state law enforcement officials to investigate and document anti-Asian hate crimes.