By Sangay Taythi
Around 150 Tibetans gathered in front of the Walker Community Library in Uptown, Minnesota to hold the 'Tibetan Independence Torch Relay' to demonstrate against the recent crackdown of Tibetans inside Tibet by the Chinese government and to demand justice and independence for Tibet on April 19.
The day started off with statements about the event delivered by members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Chapter of Minnesota, which played host to the event, to the people. The torch was lit by Kusho Gendun la from the Gyuto Dharma Center and after the Tibetan National Anthem was sung in harmony, the crowd lined up to begin the torch relay towards Loring Park.
The protestors carried signs and posters calling for an end to brutality and genocide currently taking place in Tibet and demanding human rights for all Tibetans. The Independence torch was carried by the young and old, men and women during the leg of the relay with Kusho Gendunla starting off as the first torch bearer.
The protestors chanted slogans such as "Shame on Chinese Government" and "Stop the killings in Tibet" along the entire torch route. Some also distributed 'Save Tibet' bumper stickers to pedestrians and commuters. Throughout the torch route, several vehicles blew their horn and waved their hands in our support.
As the protestors drew near Loring Park, the place where the relay was to be concluded, they divided into groups and stood on corners of the big traffic intersection, above the freeway tunnel and displayed their banners and signs and shouted slogans.
The groups then joined each other and gathered at the nearby park and the day concluded by speeches delivered by members of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women's Association and Thupten Dadak who expressed the need and urgency of support for the Tibetan cause.