Los Angeles residents call for an end to hate crimes, politically-motivated violence at prayer vigil
LOS ANGELES — With cases of targeted and random acts of violence rising in the country, Los Angeles residents are turning to prayer to call for an end to hatred.
Last Saturday was considered Pittsburgh’s darkest day, as lone gunman Robert bowers opened fire at the tree of life synagogue, killing eleven people, and injuring six more.
After a standoff with police, Bowers who was armed with assault rifles was wounded in the ensuing shootout and has been arrested.
The 46-year-old Bowers is believed to have posted several anti-Semitic comments on social networking site gab shortly before Saturday’s shooting.
He remains in the hospital, charged with 29 counts resulting from anti-hate crime laws.
The Pittsburgh massacre hits close to home for Mayor Eric Garcetti, the first Jewish-American mayor of Los Angeles. He was among those calling for an end to the violence.
“We will not be silenced tonight. Stop the scapegoating. Stop the conspiracies stop the violence. Stop the hatred, not in this America.”
The Pittsburgh massacre is just one of several high profile incidents in the last week alone that has prompted the diverse community of Los Angeles to hold a vigil calling for an end to hatred.
Filipina transgender rights activist Karina Samala joined about a thousand people at an interfaith vigil.
She started her fighting for transgender rights as President Donald Trump’s new proposal to define sex as unchangeable.
“It’s really hurting, to see this happening to our community as a whole an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. We’re here together. We’re all brothers and sisters. They shouldn’t be targeting us as communities,” said Karina Samala.
Another reason why LA residents took to the streets to call for an end for hate — the politically motivated bomb threats against top Democrats that led to the arrest of Filipino American Cesar Sayoc.
One of the homemade explosives was addressed to the Los Angeles office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
“We need to take precautions we need be careful. We need to be conscious of our surroundings but the only real way to be safe is to remove the threat from the roots, from the beginning, like I said, and change the attitude of Americans,” said Niranjan Singh Kahalsa.
Among the other acts of violence in the past week, that the vigil remembered, the murder of two elderly African Americans by a white supremacist in Kentucky last Thursday.