THE WORLD’S BOROUGH UNITES AT “WE BELONG HERE: QUEENS RISES AGAINST HATE” MARCH IN FLUSHING
(Monday, May 3 at 1:15pm)
QUEENS, NY – Queens residents gathered as one community on Sunday, May 2 to declare that hate has no home in The World’s Borough, as thousands of people participated in the “We Belong Here: Queens Rises Against Hate” march in Flushing, hosted by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., alongside special guests U.S. Rep. Grace Meng and New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
“There is no magic vaccine that will suddenly bring this pandemic of prejudice against our Asian American community to an end. Instead, it is on every one of us to be that vaccine and to stand up as one, united community to end hate in all its hideous forms,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “Here in The World’s Borough, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. This is why we march; to show those who would spew bigotry that they will never succeed, and that Queens will never be a place of hate.”
“This weekend, Queens stood up to hate and said loud and clear that we will not tolerate bigotry and violence against Asian Americans,” said Congresswoman MENG. “The ongoing discrimination and racist attacks against those of Asian descent has been disgusting and horrifying, and I have been so heartened by the solidarity and allyship shown by leaders of so many other communities who came out yesterday to stand with their Asian American brothers and sisters to denounce and condemn this sickening intolerance, and underscore that an attack on the Asian American community is an attack on us all. With all of us working together, I am hopeful that we will Stop Asian Hate! Thank you Borough President Donovan Richards for your leadership and for bringing us together yesterday.”
“The attacks against the Asian-American community are despicable and antithetical to our values and everything we represent,” said Attorney General JAMES. “No one should live in fear for their life because of who they are, what they look like, or where they came from. My office will continue to take action against bigotry and hate of any kind, and we will hold accountable those who seek to harm and divide us. We will do everything in our power to ensure the wellbeing of our Asian-American community, and I thank Queens Borough President Richards and Congresswoman Meng for their partnership in this effort. I encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate or bias-fueled violence to report them to my office at 1-800-771-7755.”
In a powerful show of solidarity with survivors of anti-Asian hate and all forms of bias, thousands of Queens residents, dozens of community leaders and numerous elected officials marched a 1.5-mile lap through the streets of Flushing, beginning with a rally outside Flushing Town Hall and concluding back at the famed performing arts hub.
The May 2 march is the anchor of Borough President Richards’ ongoing comprehensive campaign to combat hate in all forms in The World’s Borough. In addition to hosting multiple gatherings on the steps of Queens Borough Hall to decry a rise in bias crimes and mourn lives lost to hate — as well as co-hosting a Queens Town Hall on Anti-Asian Hate Crimes and Bias on April 20— Borough President Richards activated Queens’ vast network of community-based organizations for a Day of Action on April 12, distributing resources across the borough for both survivors and upstanders.
Borough President Richards has also launched an ongoing series of Upstander Trainings in multiple languages to ensure Queens residents have the tools they need to protect themselves and their neighbors from hate violence. The Borough President’s Mandarin-language Upstander Training was held April 27, while a Korean-language Upstander Training will be held this Wednesday, May 5.
Sunday’s march was held following some 3,800 reported anti-Asian hate incidents nationwide over a year during the COVID-19 crisis and followed notable attacks in New York, as well as the Atlanta-area in which a gunman killed eight individuals, including six women of Asian descent.
According to the NYPD, there were an astonishing 31 reported hate crimes committed against Asian Americans during the first three months of 2021 — compared to none during the same period in 2020 — accounting for 36 percent of all reported hate crimes in New York City.
“The attacks on Asian Americans are horrible, criminal and must be resisted. You cannot fight against hate directed at you if you do not fight against hate directed at everyone. I proudly stand with the Asian American community saying that we all belong here and we are not going anywhere and we will stand together,” said National Action Network President & Founder REV. AL SHARPTON.
“In just over one year, there have been over 1,100 hate attacks and incidents against Asian New Yorkers. The numbers reflect a dramatic under-reporting of only 10-30% of the actual attacks. And sadly, the attacks continue to increase in frequency and intensity. Asian Americans are heartbroken, angry, and frustrated at the needless violence that keeps us from leaving our homes. As the violence continues, we must come together as a city to fight the root of all the violence around us. We must reject racism and its many iterations that fuel paranoia and distrust within and between our communities. We thank Congresswoman Meng who has become the standard bearer for our community, fighting so hard to give our pain visibility. We thank Borough President Richards for standing with us and refusing us to swallow this bitterness alone. Now more than ever, we need to commit ourselves to working together to create the kind of community we all deserve. This fight is all of us against racism, and it’s going to take ALL OF US to win this fight,” said Asian American Federation Executive Director JO-ANN YOO.
“CPC stands with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and other leaders and advocates to condemn hate against Asian Americans and hate of all forms. As the nation’s largest social services agency serving Asian American, immigrant, and low-income individuals, we know all too well that these events are nothing new. We also know that hateful rhetoric and their effects have been especially divisive and explosive over the past few years, especially against the Asian American community amidst the pandemic. We are grateful that events like today’s march continue to shed light on these deeply rooted issues and urge our government officials and community leaders to continue promoting and investing in long-term, community-centered solutions that build trust, safety, and belonging for all New Yorkers,” said Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) President and CEO WAYNE HO.
“The Korean American Community is grateful to all the elected officials and community leaders for joining the unity rally and march and appreciates all the effort that have been made to Stop Asian Hate.,” said Korean American Association of Greater New York (KAAGNY) President CHARLES YOON. “We look forward to continuing our united front against hate as we are truly stronger together!”
“The AAPI community have been subjected to hate and oppression for generations and the attacks have grown over the last year, leading to hate crimes and even death. As a union made up primarily of immigrants and people of color, our members often face this kind of racism and hatred. We stand in unity with AAPI communities and unequivocally reject hate and injustice,” said 32BJ SEIU President KYLE BRAGG.
“We Belong Here was an incredible show of solidarity by elected officials and community leaders, and of resilience and determination by thousands of marchers. I was proud to add my voice, on behalf of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, to call for an end to all forms of anti-Asian hate, and bold investment in safety in our streets, schools, homes, workplaces, and systems,” said National Queens Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Executive Director KENRICK I. ROSS.
“People of all colors and have to unite to dismantle racism that for years has been weaponized to defeat the power of the people. Black, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Brown, Latino, Indigenous Native Americans and White people must stand in solidarity to Dismantle Racism,” said Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage Founder and Artistic Director POTRI RANKA MANIS.
“It was an honor to participate in the “Stop Asian Hate” rally organized by the Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Congress member Grace Meng. The rally was powerful and conveyed a very strong message that no hate of any kind will be tolerated. All the elected officials and NY State Attorney General echoed the sentiments, said Hindu Temple Society of North America President DR. UMA MYSOREKAR.
“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. We stand in solidarity with our Asian-American brothers and sisters in Queens and throughout the country who are confronting a wave of xenophobia and hate. Together as a community, we will continue to make clear that we will not tolerate Asian hate – not today, not tomorrow and not ever. I thank Borough President Donovan Richards for his tremendous leadership, along with my colleagues Attorney General Tish James and Rep. Grace Meng. We will stand up, speak up and show up until we stop Asian hate in New York City and throughout the land,” said U.S. Representative HAKEEM JEFFRIES.
“The rising violence against our Asian American community must stop. New York City’s diversity is what makes this city so great and I’m proud to represent such a large and vibrant Asian American community in Queens. We need change and change will come. I am working with my colleagues in Congress and right here in New York City to address the rise of hate crimes and bigotry against Asian Americans and Pasic Islanders and look forward to enactment of legislation to enhance enforcement of anti-Asian hate crimes,” said U.S. Representative GREGORY W. MEEKS.
“Hate has no place in our city or nation, and the spike in anti-AAPI violence is disturbing,” said U.S. Representative CAROLYN B. MALONEY. “The heinous shootings in Georgia and Indianapolis, and the acts of violence in our very own backyard; Hell’s Kitchen, Central Park, on the Subway and across the city are a wake up call to the violence Asian Americans have been experiencing over the past year. Incidents like these are why we must call out hate and bigotry whenever we see it. I am proud to say that Congress is taking immediate action, and I will not stop fighting until every single American is treated with the equality and dignity they deserve.”
“Our unity is our strength in the fight against racism and xenophobia. As we fight for justice in response to the violent attacks on Asian Americans, we must stand up and stand together and leave no doubt that those who espouse and foster intolerance have no place in our country. My thanks to Rep. Grace Meng and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. for continuing to ensure that Queens is truly the world’s borough,” said New York State Comptroller THOMAS DiNAPOLI.
“Let me be blunt: anyone who hates Asian Americans, hates New York City,” said Mayor BILL de BLASIO. “We marched yesterday to demonstrate our commitment to our AAPI siblings and to remind them that they have a home here—a home where they are both respected and protected. Thank you Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for putting on an event that captured the compassion of our city.”
“Today we march in solidarity as one community because we know that anti-Asian sentiment does not reflect the values of our society. Just as America is a nation of immigrants, New Yorkers come from all walks of life, from all over the world. Today we reaffirm the true values of our nation as one that welcomes all colors, creeds and cultures. There is no place for hatred, bigotry and division here, and I thank Borough President Richards, Congresswoman Meng, and all good people who choose not to demonize the diversity of our city, but to embrace and celebrate our diversity,” said Council Member PETER KOO.
“The hateful violence we have witnessed here in our own city is only the latest gut-wrenching example of how Asian Americans have been targeted, scapegoated, and attacked prior to and throughout the COVID-19 crisis. I grieve with my brothers and sisters in the Asian-American community and stand in solidarity with them against all forms of hate, violence, and bigotry. While we know that these transgressions are often underreported, we will never give up on our collective effort to be a voice for all and protect and defend one other from this kind of brutality. We will continue demanding accountability of those who commit these heinous acts and justice for victims and their families,” said New York State Senator LEROY COMRIE.
“The act of loving your neighbor is the most basic tenet of our social contract, and that begins with calling out hateful language and stepping in when we see violence in our communities. Queens is a place where we come together despite our differences to take care of our neighbor and we are standing united to stop Asian hate in our borough and beyond,” said New York State Senator JESSICA RAMOS.
“The increase in hate crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans has grown exponentially since the start of coronavirus and it needs to stop. These are innocent people that have no connection to this deadly disease and they should be treated with the same respect as any other citizen of this great nation,” said New York State Senator JAMES SANDERS JR.
“On Sunday I proudly joined Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Rep. Grace Meng, Attorney General Letitia James, Mayor Bill de Blasio and several other elected officials at Flushing Town Hall in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community,” said Assemblymember KHALEEL ANDERSON. “As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ and we must continue to speak up and speak out against bigotry and hate in all forms. May is AAPI Heritage Month which is an opportunity for us to celebrate the rich cultural traditions and history of our fellow New Yorkers as we uphold principles of diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice for all.”
“It is incumbent on every one of us to speak up against all forms of Asian hate, whether we see or hear it on our streets, subways or social media platforms,” said Assemblyman EDWARD BRAUNSTEIN. “I’m proud to stand in solidarity with New York City’s Asian American community and join with Queens leaders to say that we will not stay silent in the face of intolerance and discrimination.”
“The alarming rise in xenophobia has left the Asian American community in fear for themselves and for the safety of their loved ones. No community should have to live in terror because of their country of origin or the color of their skin. Political fear mongering has endangered the lives of millions of Americans and we must do everything in our power to stop it in its tracks. I applaud Queens Borough President Richards and his commitment to protecting all residents of our great borough, as well as the rich diversity and culture that makes Queens home to us all,” said Assemblywoman CATALINA CRUZ.
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted that our nation is suffering from several pandemics at once, including the pandemic of systemic racism. We must rise against hate and stand with our siblings in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities because when one of our neighbors is harmed, we are all harmed,” said Assemblymember JESSICA GONZÁLEZ-ROJAS. “I will continue to stand with my constituents, community leaders, and colleagues in demanding that we allocate the resources necessary to demonstrate true solidarity with our neighbors to end the violence and stop asian hate.”
“We stand with our friends, family, and neighbors in the AAPI community in the fight for justice and equality. Hate has no home here. We will fight racism, bigotry, and ignorance with every tool at our disposal, and we will continue our work to stop Asian hate,” said Assemblymember ANDREW HEVESI.
“We are no longer standing by idly while anyone of any color, race, creed are nationality are being targeted for any reason.” said Assemblymember ALICIA HYNDMAN. “As this month serves as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, I’m proud of my elected colleagues and queens community who continue to rise against hate at all cost.”
“As the first South Asian woman elected to state office in New York, I am shocked by the disturbing rise in violence against Asian-Americans, including South Asians. Hate crimes against Sikhs alone have risen by 200% in recent years. This is leaving a toxic mark on our city and nation. Asian-Americans are our friends, our family and our neighbors. A hate crime against any of them is an affront to who we are as Americans,” said Assemblywoman JENIFER RAJKUMAR.
“Look no further than Queens to witness an incredible show of support for our AAPI neighbors in the midst of rising violent attacks and ignorance causing widespread fear that no one deserves to experience. Thank you to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens), and New York State Attorney General Letitia James for organizing us in Flushing to make it clear that hate against any community has no home here,” said Assemblywoman NILY ROZIC.
“Over the weekend, hundreds of people came out for the We Belong Here rally. The marchers represented all that is good about our borough- our diversity, our compassion, and our solidarity. I am proud to see so many people in our community stand united against anti-Asian hate crimes,” said Assemblyman DAVID WEPRIN.
“We need to stop this troubling trend of hate crimes against the Asian American community in its tracks,” said Council Member ADRIENNE ADAMS. “Queens will always unite to support our diverse communities, and rise collectively against hate and bias. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our Asian American community against racist attacks.”
“Queens is a place where everyone belongs and hate has no place,” said Council Member BARRY S. GRODENCHIK. “I stand and march in condemnation of the horrific hate crimes against Asian Americans and in solidarity with all who call our city home.”
“This global pandemic has underscored the importance of unity and solidarity. We must stand together to protect and support Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and condemn any and all incidents of anti-Asian violence. Hate doesn’t belong in our city, in our country or anywhere in the world. Let’s be an example and show that we respect and value all backgrounds so we can recover with no more lives lost or impacted,” said Council Member FRANCISCO MOYA.
“There is no room for hate in our community and we stand together. It is terrible to see this wave of Anti-Asian violence in our communities. I stand with those working to end discrimination for all Americans and I call for an increase in funding to the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force,” said Council Member PAUL VALLONE. “We all must work together to end this spree of racially motivated crime.”
Click here for photos of the May 2 march.
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