A couple hundred people showed up to the "Stop Asian Hate" candlelight vigil Saturday night in Alhambra, four days after six women of Asian descent were among the eight people killed in attacks on three Atlanta-area massage businesses.
"We will not be silent against the gun violence,'' Betty Hang, organizer of the 6:30 p.m. vigil at Almansor Park wrote on Facebook. "We want to remember the importance of uniting -- for love, understanding and compassion of our community."
Social distancing procedures are prioritized for the vigil with Hang asking those planning to attend to "please double mask if possible."
Hang asked people to bring candles, paintings and posters.
Manjusha P. Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, said Friday that 360 hate incidents in Los Angeles have been reported to the nonprofit since its launch on March 19, 2020. A total of 3,800 incidents have been reported in the United States during the year.
In a speech Friday at Emory University in Atlanta, President Joe Biden said, "We have to change our hearts. Hate can have no safe harbor in America. It must stop. And it's on all of us -- all of us, together -- to make it stop."
On Friday, Mayor Eric Garcetti and other Los Angeles officials gathered with to address the rise in hate crimes and hate incidents against the Asian American community and to urge the public to report any instance of hate to law enforcement.
"We are seeing record violence and discrimination against Asian Pacific Islanders, primarily due to false narratives and bigoted lies surrounding COVID-19,'' said Capri Maddox, executive director of the LA Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department. ``We must all rise to support our fellow Angelenos from discrimination, bigotry and hate."
Capri said that hate crimes against Los Angeles' Asian American Pacific Islander community increased by 114% in 2020, according to data from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Kulkarni said incidents in Los Angeles "range the gamut from verbal harassment to discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations to unfortunately physical attacks as serious as the one that took place in Atlanta on Tuesday."
Stop AAPI Hate was launched in response to an increase in xenophobia and bigotry against the Asian American Pacific Islander community during the COVID-19 pandemic.