LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Dozens of people gathered at Bryant Park in Lake Worth Saturday to rally against the recent violent attacks against Asian Americans across the nation.
Some held signs that read ‘Stop Asian Hate’ and ‘End Racism.’ Many agencies organized the rally including the Asian American Federation of Florida & The Bangladesh Association of Florida.
Winnie Tang said it pains her to see the violence against her community across the nation.
“When I think about it, that could be my mother, that could be my grandmother, that could be my sister. When that happens every time when I hear that one, the emotion is all over again," said Winnie Tang, Vice President of the Asian American Federation of Florida. “Today is a good day. We have a lot of the community come together to share one main mission, that we are together as one. And any hate against one is against everybody."
Some of the speakers talked about the recent rise in violence against the Asian communities across the country in recent weeks. But most of all, expressed concerns about how people who witness these incidents simply watch and stand by and not intervene. They are urging the community to stand up with them in solidarity.
“We’re seeing so many stories is that Asian Americans are under attack so many people simply just watch and standby. They coward in fear and silence and they say it’s not worth it for them to intervene," aid Ty Penserga, Vice-Mayor of the City of Boynton Beach. “So today I call on people to be brave to be fearless, to act with courage. Because we saw today there is a great community behind them and every piece of bravery is going to make our word a little bit better."
Leaders from different faiths expressed unity but as well as accountability to local officials.
“Hoping that the police promises us that things are gonna change and we don’t do anything to change the mentality of the law enforcement. they are going to repeat themselves. They’re going to say that somebody killing an Asian American was just somebody having a bad day. So that is the approach that we need to change," said Wilfredo Ruiz, Communications Director for Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The outcry comes after six women of Asian descent were shot and killed in Atlanta last month. Since then, many rallies have been held across the nation calling for justice and unity. The organization Stop AAPI Hate said there has been a rise in racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 3,800 incidents of hate against Asian Americans have been reported since the pandemic began.
The rally ended with a prayer and candlelight vigil. The rally also remembered the victims of the recent Boulder, Colorado shooting.