Hundreds in Atlanta march to support Asian Americans after deadly shooting
Hundreds of demonstrators circled the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, United States on Saturday to support the Asian American community after a shooting left eight people dead earlier this week. Take a look
A shooting at three local day spas this week left eight people dead, six of them Asian women.
COVID-related anti-Asian violence
The killings followed a year of mounting anti-Asian violence in the United States, which community leaders say is due to Asian Americans being blamed for the coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
‘We are not the virus’
Crowds of people wearing masks, waving American flags and carrying posters that read "We are not the virus" and "Stop Asian Hate" stood in front of the golden-domed Georgia State Capitol building on Saturday.
Senators join the demonstrations
Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both Democrats elected in January, led the demonstrators in a moment of silence for the victims, video on Twitter showed. "Let us build a state and a nation where no one lives in fear because of who they are or where they or their family come from," Senator Ossoff said.
No clear motive yet
Georgia authorities have yet to determine what drove the suspect, a 21-year-old white man, who was charged with the killings at spas in and around Atlanta on Tuesday. Robert Aaron Long told investigators sex addiction led him to violence, but lawmakers and anti-racism advocates have said anti-Asian bias could have been at least part of the motivation.
Immigrants and mothers killed
Some of the women killed were immigrants and mothers, described by family and friends as hard-working, loving and beloved.
Outpouring of grief
The shootings prompted an outpouring of grief, from the local community in Georgia to the halls of US Congress. Since Tuesday, mourners have piled flower bouquets and signs, lit candles and said prayers outside the spas where the victims were killed.
Lawmakers address the issue
US lawmakers decried the spike in anti-Asian violence in a congressional hearing on Thursday, where Democratic Representative Grace Meng, who is of Taiwanese descent, testified that the "community is bleeding."
On Friday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met with Asian American community leaders in Georgia to express condolences and implore Americans to stand together against hate.