Hundreds of people rallied in Philadelphia's Chinatown on Sunday to denounce hate and raise awareness about acts of racism against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community.
GRAY HALL: Stories of violence and hatred against Asian-Americans have been in the spotlight lately. But for many in the community, it's a long overdue wake-up call. "Action News" reporter Beccah Hendrickson joins us right now live in Chinatown, where a rally is being held to denounce violence against Asian-Americans. Beccah.
BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Gray, the marchers went off to Independence Mall, and then they're going to City Hall. They're hoping to draw attention to the thousands of cases of discrimination and racism against Asian-Americans since the pandemic started, and also spread a message of unity and hope.
XIAOYUN HOU: We have to guard our freedom.
BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Xiaoyun Hou is a mother of three who says she no longer feels safe walking alone in her own community.
XIAOYUN HOU: Alienated again, marginalized more than before.
BECCAH HENDRICKSON: She and hundreds of other people from all backgrounds rallied in Chinatown to stand against hate.
XIAOYUN HOU: This is happening, like, just right next to us. Everybody has this experience. It's not one single insulated incident. Everybody feels less safe.
BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have surged 149% since the pandemic began. More than 3,800 incidents have been recorded, including several vandalisms in Philadelphia this week police are investigating.
DWIGHT EVANS: This is unacceptable. This is not America. We must protect the Asian community, and we must show that we are in solidarity.
BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Congressman Dwight Evans and several members of Philadelphia City Council joined the rally, where the community plans to march from Chinatown to Independence Mall to City Hall.
MARK SQUILLA: United, we could show that, you know, really, the city really cares and is going to be out here to protect people. We want people to feel safe.
BECCAH HENDRICKSON: The community wants this rally to send a message of unity.
ANGELA WU: We want people to know that we are hardworking people who are part of your community, and we're here to be part of the community.
BECCAH HENDRICKSON: The rally also has COVID-19 protocols in place. Everyone was asked to wear a mask and social distance while marching through the city. Live in Chinatown, Beccah Hendrickson, "Channel 6 Action News." Gray?
GRAY HALL: Beccah, thank you so much for the update. A reminder now, you can watch our Building It Better Together Town Hall called "Taking Action Against Hate for Asian-Americans." You can watch that right now. The special, which covers hate crimes and ways to support the Asian-American community, is up right now on our streaming apps and on platforms, including Roku and Apple TV.