PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In response to the deadly shootings in Atlanta, hundreds of demonstrators marched in Oakland to show support for the Asian American community on Wednesday.
PGH Rally for Solidarity started at Flagstaff Hill and ended at Schenley Plaza. The demonstrators spoke out against hate and violence against the Asian American community.READ MORE: Butler County Community College Closes For 2 Days Due To Ransomware Attack
“Stop the violence, stop the hate. Stop the violence, stop the hate,” demonstrators chanted while walking and holding signs.
“My sign says I am not a virus, I am not your fetish, I am not your model minority,” said Melanie Cen, a University of Pittsburgh student.
Other signs being carried said “Stop Asian hate” and “Your home is our home, too.”
The peaceful rally was put together after the Atlanta shootings last week. Eight minutes of silence was held for the eight people killed, six of which were of Asian descent.
“Please never be afraid to combat violence,” said Zinh Dang to the crowd. He is the director of communications for the East Coast Asian American Student Union.
Protestors were pushing for an end to racism and violence toward Asian Americans.
“Because of my face, I was treated as a perpetual foreigner, an unwelcome guest in my own country,” said one speakerREAD MORE: North Allegheny, Mt. Lebanon Among Highest-Ranked Schools In The Area
The East Coast Asian American Student Union, the Pittsburgh chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, and other partners organized Wednesday’s rally.
Dang said violence against the Asian community is not new and they want to open a dialogue between different organizations and communities.
“This unfortunate violence, it’s been around for a long time, it’s not new. It’s unfortunate and people really need to come together and talk more about this,” Dang said.
“Knowing that violence is consistently affecting the East Asian and Pacific Islander community, it’s so hurtful. We really need to take a stand and show things need to change in this country,” said Meera Garg, a University of Pittsburgh student.
Demonstrators want to make it known they will not stay quiet as they continue to fight for change.
“I definitely feel empowered, it’s good to know there’s a community behind all of us trying to support,” said Cen.
“This is truly the time to take a stand and show that we as a generation can make things better, but only if every person agrees that there is a problem at hand and something does need to change,” said Garg.MORE NEWS: Jewish Communities Around Greater Pittsburgh Come Together To Celebrate Hanukkah
Demonstrations like this are popping up nationwide. Wednesday’s rally was the third in the Pittsburgh area.