A rally in Concord against anti-Asian racism drew several hundred to the State House plaza Sunday.
Across the country, people have been mourning the deaths of eight people in shootings in Atlanta, six of them women of Asian descent.
The gathering in Concord was organized by the Asian American & Pacific Islander caucus of the state Democratic party and the progressive activist group, Kent Street Coalition.
Nashua State Representative Latha Mangipudi was one of those who addressed the crowd. She said she could not be silent, and called for social equality.
“Is racism acceptable? Is sexism acceptable? Is diversity a celebration? Are we stronger together?” she asked, to loud answers from the crowd.
Other speakers included the mayors of Concord and Somersworth.
Samantha Searles of Black Lives Matter Nashua noted that while the rally was taking place at the State House, Republican Governor Chris Sununu wasn’t there.
“We are at his workplace,” Searles said gesturing over her shoulder towards the State House dome. “Where’s he at though?”
Sununu has ordered all flags at half-staff for the victims of the Atlanta shooting, which he called “a senseless act of violence.”
Several speakers asked the crowd to fight two Republican-sponsored bills pending in Concord. One would prohibit taxpayer money from flowing to entities that teach about systemic racism, or suggest race or sex makes people inherently oppressive or victimized. The other would ban cities and towns from enforcing policies that discourage cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
Li Zhou, who lives in Bedford, attended the rally with a friend. She said she hasn’t previously felt frightened living in New Hampshire, but now does.
“I just feel unsafe for my daughter and for our family. We just want more people to be aware of this issue and to fix it together,” said Zhou.
Similar rallies took place over the weekend across the country.