By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A caravan was organized in Koreatown on Friday to speak out against hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

“I think it’s about time Asian Americans stood up and voiced their opinions, stand up and say hey, we’re not going to take this anymore because the fact of the matter is Asian Americans are being targeted right now,” said James An, the President of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles. “With an event like this if we can somehow prevent one more incident like this from happening, then it will have been all worth it.”

Such crimes have been on the rise during the pandemic, prompting local leaders and officials to issue statements about addressing those racist acts.

“We are asking everyone to stop it, it is not okay. We are not going to tolerate it and everybody’s got a joint responsibility to call it out,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago.

The Korean American Federation of Los Angeles and other local community organizations were on the move on Friday to raise awareness about the alarming spike in hate incidents and hate crimes against the AAPI community.

They felt compelled to take action because of crimes that have occurred in the Southland, and most recently, the spa murders in Atlanta.

“I get a lot of messages. People messaging me saying that it’s to the point where they’re almost scared to leave their homes,” An said.

People from different ethnic backgrounds gathered to paint and post signs on their cars in Koreatown on Friday to spread the message to “stop the hate” against the AAPI community — a sentiment shared by people of all ages.

“I want to tell people the world is supposed to be peace, not for fighting or violence, I don’t want that,” said 9-year-old Melanie Volanos.