Dear Friends and Supporters of Tibet,
Please remember March 10th on your calendar and join us at our marches and rallies this Friday. It is a day to remember the Tibetan people's loss while embracing the sacrifices of many brave Tibetans killed during the March 10, 1959 revolt against the tyrannical Chinese government's military. March 10 is also a moment to reflect as well as to uphold the pledge for a free Tibet necessary for the survival of Tibet's unique culture and people.
Remember: the human rights we stand up for today, could well be our own human rights protected for tomorrow.
On this 47th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, let us remember the tens of thousands of Tibetan lives sacrificed for a Free Tibet. It is the responsibility of all of us living in relative freedom to be the voice of voiceless -- the Tibetans in Tibet -- a people with the right to self-determination, the right to determine their own future in peace. Unfortunately, they still can't exercise their rights under the illegal occupation by the China's government. Again, please join us and stand up for justice and peace.
March 10th – Worldwide Protests for Tibetan Freedom
- 9:00: Tibetan flag-raising at Berkeley City Hall, 2180 Milvia Street (between Center and Allston).
- 11:00: March commences from intersection of Powell and Market in San Francisco.
- 12:00: Function begins outside San Francisco City Hall.
- 2:00: March ends at Chinese Consulate on Laguna & Geary Blvd.
- 2:00-3:30: Protest in front of Chinese Consulate.
San Francisco – Several hundred Tibetans and supporters will demonstrate in Berkeley and San Francisco as part of a worldwide commemoration of what Tibetans term their National Uprising Day. On March 10 1959, Chinese military forces crushed a Tibetan mass uprising and sealed their occupation of the Himalayan country. Over a thousand Tibetan refugees from India, Nepal and Tibet call the Bay Area their home, many of them survivors of the exodus over the Himalayas triggered by the Dalai Lama’s covert escape at the end of March 1959.
“Tibetan people all over the world remember March 10, 1959 as the blackest chapter in our history,” said Tenzin Wangchuk, President of the San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth Congress. “This day not only reminds Tibetans of the brutal invasion and occupation of Tibet, but also of the failure of international governments to exert meaningful pressure on the Beijing regime. If world governments seek to put an end to the violence that dominates media headlines today, they should actively support movements like ours that strive for justice and exemplify nonviolence.”
The demonstration comes in the wake of a series of media-grabbing protests local Tibetan activists recently staged against Google’s controversial partnership with the Chinese government in launching a search engine in China that censors so-called “sensitive information,” including news on Tibet, Taiwan and the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The San Francisco protest will feature elaborate political theaters portraying the suffering the Chinese government has inflicted upon the Tibetan people during its forty-seven years of military control. An estimated 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a result of Chinese occupation, and over six thousand Tibetan monasteries were destroyed. Mere possession of the Dalai Lama’s picture inside Tibet can result in up to ten years of jail time and intense torture.
“Desire for political change among Tibetans inside Tibet is stronger today than ever before,” remarked Yangchen Lhamo of Students for a Free Tibet, “Even under extremely dangerous conditions, people in villages and cities throughout Tibet continue to defy Chinese oppression and exploitation. From organizing mass burnings of animal skins in protest against rampant poaching to staging sit-ins in monasteries when forced to undergo ‘re-education’ campaigns, many Tibetans knowingly risk brutal backlash in the hope that the world community will stand in solidarity with their struggle.”
"We have unflinching faith in our leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama," said Chime Lhamo, president of the Tibetan Association of Northern California. "We know that if the Chinese government sat down to sincerely negotiate a satisfactory solution with His Holiness or His representatives today, there would be millions of happier Tibetans tomorrow."
In Berkeley, Mayor Tom Bates will hoist a Tibetan flag at City Hall, and in San Francisco, a host of congressional representatives and activist leaders will rally support for Tibetan freedom. Throughout the march, slogans, colorful banners, mobile political theater, Tibetan folk songs and dance performances will make for an attention grabbing procession. At its culmination outside the Chinese embassy, the protestors will bring to life the nationwide Tibetan resistance of 1959, which China’s army squashed with a brutality that many of the older Bay area Tibetans remember even today.
Organizers & Sponsors: San Francisco Tibetan Youth Congress* Tibetan Association of Northern California * Tibet Justice Center * Students for a Free Tibet * Bay Area Friends of Tibet* Committee of 100 for Tibet.