Striking back at the recent wave of anti-Asian incidents, the new group Compassion In SGV hosted a “Block The Hate” community rally and block party, Saturday, May 22 at Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel.
The volunteer organization, which vows to support and protect Asian communities in the San Gabriel Valley, hosted the event, which had the shared missions of celebrating AAPI Heritage Month and condemning the rising tide of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The rally featured speeches from AAPI community leaders, live artwork, food, music, and dance performances.
Speakers were scheduled to include event organizer Brittney Au, broadcaster May Lee and activist-artist Kim Saira. San Gabriel Mayor Chin Ho Liao and councilmembers Jason Pu, Denise Menchaca, and Tony Ding were also on hand. Gigi Yam served as emcee.
The event is the latest in a series of rallies in the San Gabriel Valley, all taking aim at the alarming wave of hateful incidents directed at people of Asian descent across the U.S..
Local leaders and police are imploring anyone who witnesses a hateful attack to report these incidents to law enforcement. Officials are concerned that many such incidents still go unreported.
Their pleas come on the heels of deadly shootings last month at three Atlanta spas that killed eight people, six of Asian descent. The district attorney in Fulton County will pursue the death penalty against the suspected shooter, contending he specifically targeted some of his victims because they were Asian women.
The attack combined with other incidents to increase concerns over a spate of high-profile attacks, widely blamed on rhetoric over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
California represents one-third of the nation’s Asian/Pacific Islander population, and the biggest AAPI population centers are in Los Angeles and Orange counties, said Karthick Ramakrishnan, chair of the state Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs and director of the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside.