VALLEY PARK (CBSLA) - People from Los Angeles to Orange County are coming together to bring awareness to a surge in hate crimes and racist incidents against Asian-Americans.
Dozens of volunteers who help feed and provide protective equipment for the elderly in Orange County Asian Community gathered at a fountain in Valley Park, lighting luminaries and praying.
In Orange County, there's been a 1,000% increase in hate incidents against Asians.
"I call on all of us to unite in our faith, whichever faith that may be," said Paul Hoang, a participant. "Hate begets hate."
A movement called "Asians With Attitudes" is aimed at uniting all Asians and allies to stand up and fight back against the surge in racism and hate crimes.
"Most of our people are afraid to say or do anything, which I feel that's why I had to step in, show the people they're not alone," said Sam Bun, a local organization of A.W.A. "I wanted to let them know they're not alone and give the people some hope."
The first A.W.A. movement gained momentum in Northern California to combat a rise in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Now, "Asians With Attitudes" is hitting the streets in Southern California to stop the spread of hate here.
Young volunteers are getting together to conduct foot patrols in neighborhoods where there have been hate crimes or hate incidents.
"If we don't do anything, it's going to keep happening, these attacks are going to keep going," added Bun.
The group's first foot patrol was in Chinatown last Saturday. They went to merchants and the elderly in the neighborhood letting them know about the cause to help them feel more secure.
The volunteers believe their presence will protect those who are vulnerable and have been targeted most.
Asian-Americans across the country are reporting a significant spike in hate crimes, harassment, and discrimination tied to the spread of the pandemic.
According to the group Stop A.A.P.I. Hate and other community groups, there have been more than 3,000 anti-Asian attacks nationwide since March. Of those, nine percent are physical assaults, six percent involve coughing or spitting, and 71 percent are verbal harassment.
The Los Angeles Police Commission said this week, there was a 114 percent increase in the number of hate crimes in 2020 compared to the previous year. That doesn't include the hate crimes so far this year, like the violent attack on Air Force veteran Denny Kim in Koreatown in February.
The group will make its next stop in Rowland Heights on Saturday.
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