People in D.C. and Maryland stood in solidarity Sunday with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) following the Atlanta-area killings of eight people, six of whom were Asian women.
In Gaithersburg, people gathered at the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center for a vigil and press conference. Around 6:15 p.m., participants remembered the victims, bowing their heads in front of their pictures and flowers.
Earlier, a rally at McPherson Square drew hundreds of people to chants of “stop Asian hate,” calling for collective safety and an end to racism against the AAPI community.
“What breaks my heart a lot is not only [do] we experience this anywhere we go, we experience it the most important places we need to be: school, work, church,” one man said into a microphone at the rally.
Speakers talked about their own experiences with racism, especially since the coronavirus pandemic.
“We do a lot for this country. We come here because we love this country,” one woman said. “Please stop the hatred. Please love everybody.”
Some also talked about their parents working hard to build lives in the United States. They spoke of the pain caused by racism and hate directed at them and their communities as first generation immigrants.
“It’s so difficult to watch my people suffer,” another woman said. “So adding on to everyone, just be the best person you can be and speak up. We will not be silenced.”