MONTREAL -- Since the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple reports have drawn attention to a rise in anti-Asian racism in Montreal and throughout Quebec.

Alleged crimes have included a person being pepper-sprayed, another being stabbed and many being harassed on the streets of the city, and a march against anti-Asian racism was held Sunday to attention to the issue.

The march began at Cabot Square at 1 p.m., and head through Montreal's downtown core.

"We’ve come together to organize because our community is tired, is hurting and is angry," said Karen Cho of the Progressive Chinese Quebecers. "We are a year into this pandemic and the Asian Quebecois community has confronted so much hate."

A vigil for the victims at Parc Sun Yat-Sen in Montreal's Chinatown for the eight victims in Atlanta who were killed in three Asian massage parlours is also scheduled.

Organizers in Montreal are noting that anti-Asian racism is a local issue as well.

Cho added the vandalism of Buddhist statues in Cote des Neiges and on the historic Chinatown gates on St. Laurent Blvd., as well as the hit-and-run of two Asian residents in Brossard to the list of criminal acts against citizens in and around Montreal.

"These are just the most egregious examples of what our community has faced this year," she said. "On a daily basis, from Costco to the pharmacy to just walking in the streets, people in our community have been told to go back to their country, blamed for causing the virus, spat on and called racial slurs. These are not a series of isolated cases, they are part of a larger system and larger culture that allows these attitudes to persist."