Hundreds march in solidarity against Asian violence

Published: Mar. 27, 2021 at 11:39 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Gainesville residents from all walks of life came out to march in solidarity with the Asian community and remember the lives lost in this month’s mass shooting in Atlanta.

More than 200 walked from Bo Diddley Plaza to Depot Park for a vigil remembering the eight people killed in the Atlanta spa shootings on Mar. 16th. Six of those victims were Asian women.

Related story: Gainesville Chinese group holds rallies and vigil in the wake of Atlanta shootings

“We want the Asian community and Pacific Islanders to feel supported, to know that the larger Alachua county community stands with them and does not tolerate hate,” said Anti-Hate Team and North Central Florida Indivisible founder, Jyoti Parmar.

A report by the group “Stop Asian American and Pacific-Islander(AAPI) Hate” tracked roughly 3,800 hate incidents against Asians within the past year, and 59 of those were in Florida.

The Anti-Hate Team organized the vigil and gave speakers the opportunity to speak out and condemn violence against Asians.

Speakers at the vigil were as young as 13-years-old, with a message to the community to speak out against hate towards the Asian community.

“You don’t go out searching for three specifically Asian owned businesses to specifically murder Asian people that’s not right and it really did strike me,” said Flora Xu.

Flora Xu, 13 years old, spoke at the vigil and says the increase in violence against Asians leaves her scared for her life.

“It makes me wonder something a 13-year-old should not have to wonder…am I going to grow up,” Xu questioned.

Tvisha Joshi said their mission is to let resident know that it takes effort from all races to help put an end to violence against the Asian community.

“Stand with the other Asians and stand with other minorities and put to work how racism should be ending from your schools to your offices and your workplaces,” said Tvisha Joshi. “It should be a group movement. It shouldn’t just be one voice standing out.”

For information on the ‘Stop Asian Hate’ movement, visit the Anti-Hate Team’s Facebook.

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