Participants chanted “stop Asian hate”, “love our culture, love our people” and “We belong to Aotearoa (New Zealand)”, reports Asian Lite News

Hundreds of people gathered for a protest in New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland on Saturday to demonstrate against anti-Asian racism and hate.

The protest started at the Aotea Square in Auckland CBD where protesters spoke out against racism towards Asians in the US and New Zealand, before marching along the Queen Street, reports Xinhua news agency.

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The aim of the event was not only to stand in solidarity with Asian-Americans who have experienced extreme abuse and lived in daily fear, but to also create awareness of the pain that Asians in New Zealand face, said the organiser on the event’s social media page.

People take part in a rally against anti-Asian hate crimes in San Mateo, California, the United States, on Feb. 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)

“What does the American shooting towards Asian people has to do with us Kiwi Asians? We share common skin colour. We look at them, and we wonder, that could be us. It is our people. When people are attacked based on their skin color, we see ourselves there, we share that pain,” said Steph Tan, one of the organisers.

New Zealand MP Naisi Chen delivered a speech and led the march.

Being a Chinese and Asian New Zealander, she talked about the painful feeling when she heard the news about racism against Asians in the country.

People take part in a rally against anti-Asian hate crimes in San Mateo, California, the United States, on Feb. 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)

“New Zealand is our home too,” said Chen.

MP Melissa Lee and Auckland Councillor Paul Young also attended the event to show support.

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Participants chanted “stop Asian hate”, “love our culture, love our people” and “We belong to Aotearoa (New Zealand)”.

People attend a “Stop Asian Hate” candlelight vigil in a city park of Alhambra, Los Angeles County, California, the United States, March 20, 2021. (Xinhua/IANS)

A research released by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission on February revealed that the Maori people along with the Chinese communities had reported the highest rates of discrimination since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the research, four in 10 respondents reported having experienced discrimination since the start of the outbreak, with higher rates for Maori people (55 per cent), Chinese (54 per cent), Pacific Islanders (50 per cent), and other Asian (49 per cent) respondents.

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