"Hate has no place in this world, no matter what color you are."
JESSE KIRSCH: Karen, at one point, hundreds of people filling Chinatown Square behind us here this afternoon, a scene similar to that which we saw after the death of George Floyd last spring with all of those protests. The signs had different phrases on them this time around, but the core messages were similar-- a call for equality and tolerance.
THERESA MAH: Stop Asian hate. Let's end the silence, and let's work for justice for all.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
JESSE KIRSCH: In Chicago's Chinatown today, hundreds joining groups across the country to denounce bigoted attacks against the Asian-American community, which have been on the rise this past year.
CHRIS HUANG: The misinformation about COVID being an Asian flu had only made the war of ignorance thicker and heightened attitude of distrust.
PAUL LUU: We know that with hate rhetoric at the highest level can lead to violence. And we've seen this throughout the country.
JESSE KIRSCH: Paul Luu, CEO of the Chinese-American Service League, sees this moment of solidarity as an opportunity to address challenges.
PAUL LUU: Language barriers, trying to work and build trust with the police department, and simply understanding what is a hate crime. We need to educate our community that they have a voice.
JESSE KIRSCH: Luu, like others, galvanized by recent events, including a mass shooting in Atlanta that left six Asian women dead.
Dozens marched more than a mile from Grant Park to join the rally, which drew a diverse crowd, filling Chinatown Square and spilling into the balconies overhead. Among the rally goers, Nick Bannapradist, who emigrated from Thailand decades ago, only to see discrimination persisting here.
ANN MUNOZ: It's horrible. It's like, we haven't made much progress in 60 years.
JESSE KIRSCH: His children and grandchildren joining him at the event with a simple message.
ANN MUNOZ: Hate has no-- has no place in this world, no matter what color you are.
NICK BANNAPRADIST: This is a melting pot. Everybody here have the same opportunity. So, you know-- so everybody should be together.
JESSE KIRSCH: Again, just some of the hundreds of voices out here today demanding that hatred stop. Karen.