#StopAsianHate March: Ohioans speak out against violence, honor lives lost in Atlanta mass shooting

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Demonstrators gathered in Cleveland’s Asiatown Sunday afternoon to speak out against violence in and towards the Asian community.

Organizers of the #StopAsianHate March invited community members to join them in “solidarity as we honor the individuals whose lives we lost in the mass murder in Atlanta.”

Two weeks ago, eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were shot and killed. Robert Aaron Long was charged in the murders. He told police his actions weren’t racially motivated and instead, blamed a sex addiction.

Local AAPI leaders and allies led Sunday’s peaceful rally and march in AsiaTown to show support for Cleveland’s residents, workers, businesses, and community members. They also spoke out against the resurgence in anti-Asian violence and racism.

Hate crimes incidents against Asian Americans increased 149 percent in 2020 in 16 major cities compared to the previous year, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. Nearly 3,800 incidents have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate since March 2020.

The Atlanta attack was the sixth mass killing this year in the U.S., and the deadliest since the August 2019 Dayton killing that took the lives of nine people, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.

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