Around 200 people gathered Wednesday night for a vigil near the Chinatown arch and then marched in solidarity following the killings of eight people, including six of Asian descent, at massage parlors in the Atlanta area.
“I am angry. I’m furious,” Janet Namkung, who attended the vigil, said about the killings. “I know people who have been called all kinds of slurs, fearing their lives on the streets everyday.”
The crowd was upset over the uptick in violence against Asian Americans and hate incidents.
“Just as recent as this entire pandemic, I’m afraid to walk in the streets by myself,” Namkung said. “Women that look like me are constantly being attacked and harassed and now we are being killed.”
New data revealed there were 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents in the U.S. over the last year, mostly against women, with some Asian Americans saying they’ve grown more afraid for their safety since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Wednesday, D.C. Police patrolled the homes and businesses of Asian Americans, and President Joe Biden said he is very concerned.
“As you know I’ve been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple months and I think it is very, very, troublesome,” Biden said.
Back in Chinatown, Namkung appreciated the love, support and empathy from the diverse community.
“It’s amazing. I’m so glad we’re finally coming together in a way where we can support each other and come together and I hope this never stops and keeps growing,” she said.
D.C. Police also said there have been no credible threats against the Asian American community in the District, but do ask that people remain vigilant.