Thousands rally against anti-Asian hate in San Francisco

Thousands took to the streets of San Francisco Saturday afternoon in the largest Bay Area demonstrations to date against Asian hate.

Two marches merged into one, resulting in a large gathering at Union Square.

Jeff Lee was among the estimated 3,000 who took part in mostly Asian marches to protest the rise in violence against Asian American’s and Pacific Islanders.

"It's a point in time now where we feel we have to voice our opinions loud and clear," said Jeff Lee, with the Wah Ying Club.

The fight against Asian hate is spanning generations, as old and young stand in solidarity.

"Trying to support this community.  Trying to stop this bad thing that’s happening to us," said Kory Wong.

"So amazing to see thousands of people out here today," said one speaker as she looked over the large gathering.

As marchers gathered at Union Square, a woman identified as a retired judge took to the mic to say more must be done to protect those disproportionately affected by violence, women and the elderly.

A speaker with the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) blamed much of the uptick in crimes against Asians on the former president.

"And we condemn Trump and his staff, his agents of hatred and racist terror," Gloria La Riva, with ANSWER Coalition.

San Francisco’s police chief told the crowd the city will become an anti-hate model for the world, while the mayor thanked volunteers for helping the vulnerable.

"I want to thank some of you for taking your personal time to patrol the streets, to look out for our seniors, to help them run errands," said Mayor Breed.

"Hate is a virus.  And here’s the answer.  Here’s the vaccination.  Love," said SFPD Chief, Bill Scott.

Jeff Lee is a member of the Wah Ying club, a community organization now working with police to create an outreach program to provide anti-hate education to the general public.

He says talk provides motivation, but it will be "action" that makes the lasting change his community seeks.

"We'd like to see no more violence, No more hatred, No more division. We just want peace and harmony."

Lee says he’s not sure when these educational programs will be available, but he says they were needed yesterday, so they’re working diligently to make it happen as quickly as possible.