South Bend Activists hold demonstration to support Asian American Communities

NOW: South Bend Activists hold demonstration to support Asian American Communities

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - In the wake of a recent spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans across the United States, culminating in a spree of deadly shootings at Atlanta-area bars last week, community activists in South Bend spoke out on Monday. Black Lives Matter South Bend teamed up with the Michiana Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression to send a message of support to the Asian American Community. With no bullhorns or chants or any kind, activists said it was a show of solidarity.

"I think that the main thing is the shootings that took place in Atlanta," said Paul Mishler from the Michiana Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression. "There's been a lot of response all over the country, and the two other leaders for our organization Jerry Casey and Jorden Giger from Black Lives Matter said, 'we should do something.'"

Investigators said they have not yet ruled the Atlanta shootings as hate crimes which had at least Mya Perry of Black Lives Matter South Bend troubled.

"I do think that that's an issue because it's excusing the actions of the shooter," Perry said. "When one specific race of people are targeted and murdered, I think that it's pretty explicitly a hate crime."

Overall the message from these activists was one of support, peace and unity. Liang Cai immigrated to the United States from China. She said the demonstration was both comforting and inspiring.

"I'm really touched," Cai said. "I think right now is a moment for different ethnic groups, different minority groups to be unified together to have a voice.  We all protest against hate crimes against any minority, any groups, women children, minorities, people with colors. Any sufferings, we should stop."

FBI Director Chris Wray said the investigation into the motive of the Atlanta shootings was still under investigation but it did not "appear to be racially-motivated." Demonstrators in South Bend Monday disagreed.

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