SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- People from different racial backgrounds and ages showed up at Harvey Milk plaza in the Castro District Sunday to denounce the killing of eight people in Georgia. The rally and march created a safe space for the AAPI community to grieve, to heal and lean on one another for support.
"If you're Asian and you're hurting, I know, and it's OK because I'm hurting too," said Eugene Clifton Cha of San Francisco.
Cha encouraged the crowd to speak their stories and share their pain and frustrations.
"A lot of my friends are feeling unsafe at the moment so, just like they showed up for us during the Black Lives Matter rally, I wanted to show up for them," said Juan Cruz of San Francisco.
People held signs that read "Stop Asian Hate" and marched down Market Street to Civic Center Plaza.
"There's been this sort of put your head down and just work hard and get through it and just accept the racism," said organizer Michael Nguyen. "This is a personal choice to say 'no, enough is enough, I cannot stand by and watch another grandpa, grandma just be pushed over with violence and killed and murdered."
Sunday's response was organized by the GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance or GAPA. It was supported by several organizations including Castro Merchants and San Francisco Pride.
"We're here because, as a Chinese person, I've been told that I carry the virus and my LGBTQ brothers and sisters know what it's like to be told you carry the virus," Assemblymember David Chiu told the crowd.
Political and community leaders including state senator Scott Wiener and San Francisco mayor London Breed were among several speakers.
"We need additional resources and the police department and stepped-up patrols but -- guess what? -- we need resources to support and uplift the community to look out for our communities and that's exactly what we're going to do," Mayor Breed said.
She set forth plans to bring back something similar to the Guardian Angels to protect seniors in San Francisco.
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