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Northeast Ohio groups show solidarity for Asian community after violence, harassment

Cleveland Stop Asian Hate March
Posted at 7:56 PM, Mar 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-28 23:20:23-04

CLEVELAND — In Cleveland’s AsiaTown, the culture is visible in the public art, small businesses, and street signs, which have been outfitted with signs contributing to the neighborhood’s branding.

Even with those symbols up and down every block, Cleveland’s still felt it was time to take a stand.

“We just want to stand in solidarity and let people know that we’re not going to be silent anymore,” said Demet Peralta. “We’re proud of our Asian culture.”

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Street signs in AsiaTown reinforce the culture and branding of the neighborhood.

“I’m just really passionate about this,” said Meiling Spelic.

The mass shooting in Atlanta earlier this month brings that passion to the surface. Of the eight people killed in that tragedy, six of the victims were Asian women.

“We are suffering from the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism,” said one speaker at the event. “Asian women in particular struggle with racialized sexism.”

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People in Northeast Ohio came together Sunday to speak out against Asian harassment and attacks.

Even before the shooting in Atlanta, Anti-Asian crimes and abuse had been increasing, at least partially due to Anti-Asian sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I feel like my people are getting murdered and abused and slaughtered for no reason and nobody really talks about what Asian Americans have gone through,” said Meiling.

Her mom, Ming, is Chinese and blames the harassment in the United States on the political discourse, the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing tensions between the United States government and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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Messages were left after the rally on the former Dave's Supermarket location on Payne Avenue.

“People should realize, that’s the government, that has nothing to do with me,” said Ming. “I’m not ‘China virus’, I’m not CCP, I’m just as American as everybody else.”

“At the end of the day, we are all humans,” said one speaker at the rally. “We are daughters, we are mothers, we are fathers, we are sons, we are friends, and we are neighbors.”

Sunday's rally was organized by:
AsiaTown Cleveland
Asian Services in Action, Inc.
OCA Greater Cleveland
OPAWL
APAPA Ohio
Community Innovation Network
Global Cleveland
Greater Cleveland Chinese Chamber of Commerce
MotivAsians for Cleveland
Frontline Development Group, LLC
ClevelandPeople.com
Margaret Wong & Associates
The Young Latino Network
AJC Cleveland
Neighborhood Connections

RELATED: Stop Asian Hate rally, march held in Downtown Cleveland

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