By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – Several hundred protestors gathered at Boston Common Saturday to call out recent attacks on Asian Americans across the country. The “Stop Asian Hate” rally was organized by college students and community members.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, reported hate crimes and attacks on Asian Americans have come into national focus. Stop AAPI Hate, a non-profit created to address anti-Asian discrimination during the coronavirus pandemic, received about 2,800 firsthand reports of anti-Asian hate between March 19 and December 31 last year.

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“I’ve been following the string of anti-Asian hate crimes and racism since the start of the pandemic, and there have been thousands upon thousands,” said Ryan Doan Nguyen, an 18-year-old student from Harvard who helped organize the event.

Nguyen said he wanted to help create the event after reading a story about an 84-year-old Thai immigrant who was fatally attacked a couple weeks ago in late January.

“He looked just like my ong noi, my grandfather,” Nguyen wrote in the event’s Facebook page.

In his address to the nation on Thursday, President Joe Biden also called out the recent attacks on Asian Americans.

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“It’s wrong. It’s un-American, and it must stop,” Biden said.

Protestors on Saturday in Boston displayed signs saying things like “Racism is a Virus” and “Stop Asian Hate”.

A “Racism is a virus” sign held up by one of the protestors. (WBZ-TV)

Organizers and group leaders later spoke to the crowd about putting a spotlight on the rise of attacks against Asian Americans.

“We want to stand in solidarity with our black and brown brothers and sisters, and really speak out, have a collective voice. We are stronger in numbers and in unity. And if we all come together, we can make a change,” Doan Nguyen told WBZ-TV at the event.

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The rally also helped raise money for the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Community Fund, which is an initiative to help those affected by recent violence.

CBSBoston.com Staff