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'Rally For Solidarity' To Be Held Thursday Following Several Incidents Of Anti-Asian Vandalism In Chinatown, South Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A "Rally for Solidarity" with the Asian community is scheduled for Thursday afternoon after several incidents of hateful and racist vandalism were discovered in Chinatown and South Philadelphia. The rally is set to begin at 3 p.m. at 10th and Vine Streets and will end at City Hall.

This comes after anti-Asian graffiti was discovered at 10th and Vine Streets. Philadelphia's Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw called the graffiti racist and hateful.

In fact, the Philadelphia Police Department is now investigating two separate incidents of anti-Asian vandalism.

Commissioner Outlaw took to Twitter Wednesday to denounce the acts. She says the city is actively investigating incidents of hateful and racist vandalism in Chinatown and South Philadelphia.

"This national and local surge in racist rhetoric & acts of violence will not be tolerated. We denounce acts of hate targeted towards individuals and groups based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin," Outlaw said in a Tweet.

This is a photo of the vandalism at 10th and Vine Streets. CBS3 has blurred the writing that was discovered on a flowerbox. Police tell Eyewitness News they are investigating this as a possible bias incident.

Philly police also confirmed another incident at 24th and Montrose Streets. That vandalism involved a racial slur.

Police are working to develop leads and track down the suspects responsible for both.

Meantime, Eyewitness News spoke with Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation's Executive Director John Chin. He says harassment and hate crimes against Asian Americans in Philadelphia have been escalating since the start of the pandemic. He says it's worse now in 2021 than in 2020.

All of this while many Asian-Americans are just trying to keep their businesses afloat.

"Some were pushed and shoved, water splashed on them. What's really disgusting is some people are spat on," Chin said. "They are afraid to take public transportation to and from work, they stay home, they try to avoid public spaces. Some of these mom-and-pop stores are trying to figure out how to stay open and in the midst of all of this they have to worry about their own safety due to hate."

The vandalism has since been cleaned up.

Eyewitness News has also confirmed Philadelphia police, in coordination with SEPTA police, are investigating an alleged attack on two Indonesian teens who were at the SEPTA station at City Hall on Sunday. No further details on that incident have been released.

Meanwhile, people are being asked to gather at 10th and Vine Streets at 3 p.m. Thursday and to make signs in support of the Asian community. The march will wrap up at City Hall.

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