CENTER CITY - Hundreds of people took to Center City on Tuesday to call for an end to Asian Hate and an increase in safety for young people. The rally comes in response to a viral video showing a group of Asian students from Central High School being attacked on a SEPTA train.
Christina Lu, the Central high school student who was attacked talked publicly for the first time.
"Everyone has been calling me a hero, but I really am not," Lu said. "I’m just an ordinary girl from an ordinary family who saw people in need of help and so I tried to help."
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Lu’s decision to step in while students from another high school bullied and berated a group of Asian students on a SEPTA train lead to a nationwide outcry.
John Chin, with the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, organized the rally. "Today’s message is about demanding safety, justice and accountability," Chin commented.
The disturbing viral video shows Lu being thrown to the ground and hit several times.
"From the moment I stepped in, I didn’t care who either party were," Lu said. "I only cared to de-escalate the problem so that no one would get hurt. Many have said that I should have fought back or that the boys were cowards. First of all, violence against violence isn’t one of my values. Second, the double standards in our society where boys are to be strong and girls are to be obedient has pained me."
City Council Member-At-Large Daniel Oh spoke at the rally just a day after he led a five-hour hearing about safety on public transportation.
"I introduced a resolution on the lack of safety with SEPTA prior to this video coming out. It was actually immediately after the rape on the El," Oh explained.
Christina’s friends and classmates also came out in support.
"My girlfriend and I - I’m Black and she’s Asian and a lot of people would be like, ‘Oh no, mixing races,’ especially amongst the Black community," said Central High Student Parker McCall. "Whereas we feel like we gotta stick to ourselves but it shouldn’t be about race. Race is a human, man-made construct. We are all on,e we are all human."
A GoFundMe was created to help Christina stop Asian Hate and has raised over $750,000 so far.