NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Yorkers united during a demonstration against anti-Asian violence Saturday.
Jo-Ann Yoo, head of the Asian American Federation, cried as she introduced speakers at a rally called “Rise Up Against Asian Hate” at Foley Square.READ MORE: Mayor De Blasio Pushes Campaign Against Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, Including Financial Penalties And Potential Jail Time
“The racism that our community’s encountering, it’s been unbearable and it’s been really tough,” she said.
Noel Quintana lowered his face mask to reveal a deep and recent ear-to-ear slash across his face.
“He moved forward toward me and slashed my face. I thought I was punched in the face, but when I saw the box cutter … and the reaction of other people in the train, I knew I was slashed,” he said.
It was the morning of Feb. 3 and Quintana was heading to work on the L train. The stranger first started kicking Quintana’s tote bag, then slashed him. Police have not caught the suspect.
“I called for help, but nobody came,” Quintana said.
“Noel, you showed much more courage than that son of a gun who slashed you by speaking here today and telling us what we have to do to stop the bigotry,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said. “Bigotry against any of us is bigotry against all of us.”READ MORE: Calls For Immediate Change Ring Out After 36-Year-Old Asian Man Stabbed In The Back In Lower Manhattan
The rally was blocks away from a spot in Chinatown where a 36-year-old Asian man was stabbed and critically injured Thursday night. In that case, a suspect was apprehended and charged.
“We’re getting spat on. We’re getting punched, shoved, slashed and stabbed,” Yoo said.
“Anyone who commits an act of hatred against the Asian-American community will be found, will be arrested, will be prosecuted,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
A report released Friday by the federal government finds a large percentage of hate crimes go unreported, an alarming lack of data.
“Please report crimes of hate,” State Attorney General Letitia James said.
James urges more people to come forward, but some people in the crowd explained why they think 40% or more of these crimes never come to light.
“They report it, there’s a big chance that nothing’s gonna come about it, so they don’t see a point in reporting it,” one woman told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.MORE NEWS: Exclusive: Asian Woman Attacked With Pepper Spray In Manhattan; Victim Believes She Was Targeted Due To Her Race
People at Saturday’s rally said it’s time for more solidarity, better education and tougher laws and enforcement.