"We are hard-working people and we deserve to be treated with respect, said Olive Melaya Strohman, who is Filipino-American".
"For Pākehā people in a position of privilege, we have an obligation to speak up for people who don't or can't, like older Chinese people where it's not in their culture to speak up and try and change things", he told the Herald.
The lawmakers spoke outside Gold Spa, one of the shooting sites, where the ground was covered with bouquets and tree branches that spelled out, "Love". OPAWL is an Ohio-based grassroots organization founded to elevate Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander women and nonbinary people.
It took a white man murdering six Asian women in a massage parlor in Atlanta to instigate the public conversation on the racism and misogynist violence that Asian women face in North America.
Just this week police found two instances of vandalism targeting the Asian community in downtown Toronto which they are investigating as hate crimes.
James, a designer, said he has seen his Chinese partner's difficulties growing up in New Zealand.
"It is clear that this was a deliberate journey", said California Rep.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020, Asian Americans have become more vulnerable to verbal and physical abuse, harassment, and civil rights violations. We don't know how many women are in these "massage parlours" but a superficial Google search yielded dozens of advertisements in Vancouver of places offering "Exotic Asian massage".
Chu said later she was concerned about comments she has heard from local investigators, including that the shooter was having a bad day and said he had a sex addiction.
"I was very touched by today's rally", she said.
The rally also provided residents resources and information on how to report issues of hate crimes.
"Racism has been part of the country for a very long time", said Labour MP Naisi Chen, calling on the Asian community to step forward and serve in government, which elicited cheers from the crowd.
He called on the Justice Department to help local prosecutors, who he said may not have as much experience with hate crimes cases.
"We can not allow the AAPI community to be gaslighted into thinking that this is not a hate crime", he said. "They see with their own eyes, and they feel what they feel".