BERKELEY (KPIX) — A 7th grade girl organized a large “Stop Asian Hate” rally in Berkeley Sunday afternoon.
“We feel like we’re in a bubble here in the East Bay, right? But then, we’re really not, it happens all the time still,” said 12-year-old Mina Fedor.READ MORE: Demonstration in Oakland to Protest Police Shootings Turns Violent
Fedor remembered last year when someone intentionally coughed on her Korean mother.
“These issues, they just keep getting worse and worse and I hear about kids walking to school with sticks to protect themselves and elders who are afraid to leave their homes,” Fedor said.
Fedor and her middle school friends put together the rally to amplify youth voices.
“My sign says ‘love drives out hate,'” said 10-year-old Gabriel Jiang. “It’s based on a quote from Martin Luther King: hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”READ MORE: Man Ripping Down Flyers Promoting AAPI Anti-Hate Rally Caught on Camera in Mountain View
Hundreds of people from different backgrounds joined the rally to show unity and solidarity.
“We’ve got to be unified. This country won’t be nothing unless everybody comes together,” said Todd Walker, a Berkeley native.
“This is the first my family came out together to a protest. I hope not only it’ll stop the immediate hate crimes but also will change the visible and invisible anti-Asian racism in our society,” said East Bay resident Lin He.
Many parents hope these rallies will inspire young Asian Americans to go into politics. They also wanted to see changes in schools.MORE NEWS: Armed Bike Thieves Targeting Cyclists in the East Bay Hills
“There’s not a lot of talk about Asian American history and they’re hoping that there’s going to be a lot more discussion about all of that (in school).” said Mimi Tsang, a Berkeley parent.