New Yorkers come together, call for peace as hate crimes against Asian-Americans soar

UNION SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Christine Yamamoto is hurting.

With a sign with the names of victims of Asian American hate crimes in her hand, she is one of hundreds - in pain, who came to a peaceful vigil in Union Square.

The vigil started with a prayer for all those who have suffered. Then, there was a calming song.

They lit candles - the names of two out of the six women killed in Atlanta on Tuesday were simply written on cardboard - it is their memory that counts.

"To have our community be slaughtered and to be given reasons that it's not hate is so wrong," said Yamamoto.



The horrific massacre in Georgia is sadly, the latest in an uptick of attacks, including 13 assaults in New York City just this year.

"It's really serious, it's really scary," said Chai Jindasurat.

Many are concerned about their own safety. This melting pot New York community is now rallying behind them.

"I feel heartbroken because as a Muslim American, I know what it feels like to come from a community that is a target for who you are," said Linda Sarsour.



Even Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer offered his support.

"We will not let bigotry prevail against Asian Americans or any American," Schumer said.

"There are random attacks on Jews, on Asians, on Blacks - with the pandemic going on, we all have to pull together," said Julia Michaels.

In the end, we should pull together.

"No one came here to pod into their own groups, but to learn from one another and value people's cultures," added Yamamoto.

Officials believe there are Asian American hate crimes that have occurred and have not been reported.

Police are encouraging anyone who believes they are a victim to come forward.

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