Demonstrators gather at Georgia Capitol to demand justice in Atlanta shootings

Demonstrators gather at Georgia Capitol to demand justice in Atlanta shootings
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Demonstrators gathered in Georgia to demand justice for the victims of the Atlanta shootings that left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian.

Large swaths of demonstrators gathered at Liberty Plaza in Atlanta to mourn the victims of the shootings and to denounce hate against the Asian American community.

Video shared by Fox 5 Atlanta reporter Brooke Zauner to Twitter showed a diverse group of people gathered at the plaza. The crowd was wearing masks and holding signs that say “Stop Asian hate.” 

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Separate video shared by NBC News reporter Kathy Park shows demonstrators wearing masks, holding flags and displaying signs that say “Stop Asian Hate” and “Stop Asian Hurting.”

The crowd can be heard chanting “this is what community looks like.”

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Another video from NBC’s Deepa Shivaram shows rallygoers marching, and cars are honking in the background.

Also in attendance were newly elected Georgia Sens. Jon OssoffJon OssoffObamaCare 2.0 is a big funding deal Senate Democrats call for Medicaid-like plan to cover non-expansion states Stacey Abrams PAC tops 0 million raised MORE (D) and Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDemocrats barrel toward August voting rights deadline Jesse Jackson arrested with voting rights protesters at Capitol Harris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries MORE (D), who addressed the rally. The senators shared photos on Twitter of themselves addressing the crowd.

“@SenatorWarnock and I addressed today’s rally in Atlanta to mourn the victims of this week’s massacre and to express our love and support for the Asian-American community in Georgia and nationwide. Gratitude to the organizers,” Ossoff tweeted.

 

Warnock also shared his support for the community, stating, "We all have a stake in each other's wellbeing." 

A shooting spree at three Atlanta-area spas Tuesday night left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women. 

Law enforcement has identified the victims as Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Paul Andre Michels, 54. Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, was critically injured in the shootings, according to a report from The New York Times.

The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, is facing four murder charges and one charge of aggravated assault in relation to the shootings.

Police said that Long admitted to the killing, but stated that it was not racially motivated. Instead, he said he had a “sexual addiction,” and saw the spas as a “temptation” he wanted to “eliminate.”

Authorities said this week following the attack that it is too early to determine if the shootings were a hate crime, but that the investigation is ongoing. 

The event has brought a larger conversation around anti-Asian hate and violence to the forefront of public debate. Anti-Asian violence has risen over the past year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate said in a report released last Tuesday that it received nearly 3,800 reports of hate-related incidents against Asian Americans between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021. Over 68 percent of the incidents were reportedly verbal harassment.

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President BidenJoe BidenBiden nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland 10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE and Vice President Harris traveled to Georgia on Friday, and condemned the killings and anti-Asian hate. 

The rally in Atlanta was one of multiple rallies and vigils that took place on Saturday to denounce anti-Asian violence and hate.

Demonstrators gathered in Houston, Texas, at Discovery Green for a “Stop Asian Hate Vigil & Rally.” KHOU reporter Janelle Bludau shared on twitter that roughly 500 people were in attendance.

Bludau also shared video of the vigil that was held. Demonstrators can be seen standing as someone sings "Amazing Grace." 

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A similar rally was held in Pittsburgh on Saturday, during which Canadian-American actress Sandra Oh spoke. 

“For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful to everyone willing to listen,” the “Killing Eve” actress said.

“One thing I know many of us in our community are very scared, and I understand that, and one way to get through our fears is to reach out to our communities,” she continued. 

Demonstrations were also held in Atlanta on Wednesday, as well as in Washington and New York City. 

A crowd of rough 200 gathered in D.C.’s, Chinatown for a vigil and march, and hundreds gathered in New York City to hold a vigil in honor of the victims.