Jan. 27, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A small candlelight vigil was held in Sunnyside Thursday to mourn the Asian American and Hispanic American victims of two mass shootings in California earlier this week.
The event took place at Bliss Plaza, located at 46th Street and Queens Boulevard, and was co-hosted by Hailie Kim, a city council candidate for the 26th District, and Pastor Jordan Floro of the Mosaic Church, a multicultural church located on 46th Street. They were joined by Rabbi Mira Rivera of the LUNAR Collective, a group that represents Asian American Jews.
Kim, an immigrant from South Korea, said it was important for the local community to come together and honor those who were killed in the shootings.
On Saturday night, 11 people were fatally shot at a dance studio in Monterey Park, while two days later, seven people were shot dead at two farms in Half Moon Bay. In the Monterey Park attack nearly all the victims appear to be of Asian descent while in the Half Moon Bay shootings, the victims were both Asian and Hispanic farmworkers, according to published reports.
Both suspects were of Asian descent and police say they were targeting victims of their own communities.
“We are creating real change right here in our community to ensure the next generation of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) people will live in a safer, freer and more welcoming city and nation than those who came before us,” Kim said.
“Our struggle today mirrors and interacts with the struggles of other historically marginalized people. Many of us exist in bodies with intersectional identities and I know we’re strongest when we stand together in affirmation of our shared dignity and worth.”
The vigil began at around 7:10 p.m. and attracted more than 20 people.
Attendees placed candles on the ground in honor of the victims.
Floro and Rivera also addressed the attendees.
Adrian Childress contributed to this report.