According to Press TV, demonstrations were held in some 60 US cities including the Georgia metropolis along with San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Portland.
The rallies came after eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, were killed in three separate shootings at massage parlors in and around Atlanta, Georgia on March 16.
The gun rampage triggered alarm and grief nationwide along with fear over a spike in pandemic-era hate crimes.
“We’re one year into this pandemic and anti-Asian violence has only intensified,” said Judi Chang, a representative of the anti-war, anti-racism ANSWER coalition behind the demonstrations on Saturday.
Chang, like many other organizers, attributed the surge in anti-Asian sentiment to political rhetoric that casts China as a threat.
“Everyone I know who is Asian has been a victim of violence or harassment, assault,” she told AFP in New York. “We get spat at, we get yelled at. We get stared at, people move away when we come.”
Protesters in Atlanta were holding signs some of which read; “Stop Demonizing China and Chinese People!” while others were emblazoned with messages like “Say No to Anti-Asian Racist Terror!”
“We’re out here to say that we’re not going to tolerate racism towards Asian American communities,” Satya Vatti, an organizer with the Answer (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, told Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB in Atlanta.
About 100 people rallied in Washington’s Chinatown district, with one demonstrator holding a placard reading, “I’m not a virus, I’m not the enemy, I’m Chinese-American and I love who I am.”
Irving Lee, a demonstrator in Queens, described the anti-Asian violence created in America a “byproduct of US foreign policy.”