CLEVELAND — Dozens of demonstrators gathered in Downtown Cleveland for a Stop Asian Hate rally and march Sunday.
The rally took place at 3238 Payne Avenue in Cleveland at 1 p.m. and included local Asian American speakers while demonstrators attended to bring awareness and attention to issues that have been happening throughout the course of history but that have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My people are getting murdered and abused and slaughtered for no reason and nobody really talks about what Asian Americans have gone through," one demonstrator said during the rally. "I think it takes up like a page or two in history textbooks and then that's it, it's just a blip."
The event's organizers said the goal of the rally was to continue to show support for Asian American residents, workers, businesses and their fellow community members.
Sunday's event follows rallies and marches held across the country to bring awareness to the increase in violence against the Asian and Asian American community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A candlelight vigil and demonstration was recently held in Solon to bring that awareness while honoring the lives of those who were killed in a series of shootings at Atlanta spas two weeks ago.
The suspect in the spa shootings, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, was charged with attacking three Atlanta-area massage parlors and killing eight people, six of them Asian women.
Long was not immediately charged with hate crimes. Authorities said Long told police the attack was not racially motivated, and he claimed that he targeted the spas because of a “sex addiction.” A sheriff’s captain also said of the gunman, “It was a really bad day for him.”
Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have turned to social media to support the movement using the hashtag #StopAsianHate, which became a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings.