Community comes together for rally in Athens against anti-Asian hate, racism and terrorism

Updated: Mar. 28, 2021 at 11:55 PM CDT
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) -People in north Alabama are making sure the 8 people killed at 3 Atlanta massage parlors earlier this month are not forgotten.

Dozens of people gathered e at Lincoln Bridgeforth Park to remember the people killed in those horrific shootings, and to raise awareness on racism.

“When Asian lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!”

That was the message from the rally in Athens.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus of the Alabama Democratic Party hosted the rally in hopes to fight against Anti-Asian violence, racism, and terrorism.

This comes after 8 people were shot to death at Atlanta spas on March 16th.

6 of them were of Asian-American descent.

“The connection between the threat to democracy, Anti-Asian sentiment and the hateful murder of Asian American women in Georgia is unmistakable. We must eliminate the conditions that inspired and inspired them,” said Hanu Karlapalem, Chairman of the AAPI Caucus and Alabama Democratic Party.

Lisa Harper Chang attended the event with her two sons.

She said it was an opportunity for them to learn about the recent events and see the support from local leaders and organizations.

“My whole entire life I have always felt like an other and I didn’t want them to feel that way and understanding that we’ve seen this rise in AAPI hate crimes and they themselves felt nervous coming here. It was all the more important for them to see the diversity of the ally ship here,” said Harper Chang.

Bernard Simelton is the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Alabama State Conference.

He was one of 21 speakers during the rally and spoke about the importance of voting to help reduce violence and make positive changes locally and nationally.

“Because your vote is your voice. We cannot continue to sit at home during elections and let those who do not have our best interest at heart elect those who vote to tear us down and suppress and deny our right to vote as citizens,” Simelton.

Organizers said it is their goal to continue to rise awareness on racism and unite together to make changes in the community.

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