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After Atlanta shooting, protesters call for action, protection for Asian Americans

Hundreds of people turned out for a vigil in New York City’s Union Square on Friday in the wake of Tuesday evening’s deadly shooting at three Atlanta-area spas. Eight people were killed; six of the victims were Asian women. A recent analysis of police data found a nearly 150 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 16 major U.S. cities from 2019 to 2020. NewsHour Weekend’s Laura Fong reports.

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  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Those events honoring the victims in Atlanta and demanding action to stop anti-Asian hate crimes are continuing this weekend.

    NewsHour Weekend's Laura Fong reports about an event in New York City that took place last night.

  • Crowd:

    No more hate! No more hate!

  • Laura Fong:

    As the sun set in New York City's Union Square last night, hundreds of people turned out for a vigil in the wake of Tuesday's shooting at three Atlanta-area spas that killed eight people. Six of the victims were Asian women.

    Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation, organized the vigil.

  • Jo-Ann Yoo:

    We're here because we all know that our community deserves better. Our workers deserve better. Our mothers, sisters, aunts and daughters deserve better. We are here standing together because we are sad, we are angry and we are exhausted by the roller-coaster ride of emotions that we've all been dealing with today.

  • Laura Fong:

    The shooter has been charged with all eight murders, but local law enforcement says the motive is still under investigation, and has not yet ruled out hate crime charges.

    The mass shooting comes amidst an increase in the number of reported attacks on Asians in the past year.

    A recent analysis of police data found a nearly 150 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 16 major U.S. cities from 2019 to 2020.

    New York City had the biggest increase, up from just three incidents in 2019 to 28 last year.

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed former President Trump, who has referred to the coronavirus as the "china-virus" and "kung flu."

  • Bill de Blasio:

    Let's be clear. A terrorism, a fear that has been created and it emanated from Washington D.C. and it was state-sponsored, and now look at the fear, look at the pain in our communities. We must confront it.

  • Laura Fong:

    Vincent Tang said he appreciated seeing the turnout from people outside Asian American communities.

  • Vincent Tang:

    I needed to see that we have people outside of our community or others within our community, but of different color to to show their support as well, because we're not getting that a lot.

  • Linda Sarsour:

    I feel heartbroken because as a Muslim American I know what it feels like to come from a community who is targeted for who you are.

  • Laura Fong:

    Linda Sarsour, co-founder of the intersectional social justice organization Until Freedom, spoke out in solidarity and wants to see rhetoric backed up by action.

  • Linda Sarsour:

    Asian American communities need more than thoughts and prayers. They need action. They need investments in their organizations, in their institutions, in their communities to ensure the safety and security of our Asian communities.

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