August 9 - Around 60 Tibetans of all ages from Oregon and SW Washington including one from Switzerland boarded the bus around 4:00 am yesterday at BhodKhang and embarked on a 6 hour journey to show our solidarity with the TYC led Indefinite Hunger Strike and Tibetan People's Movement in India and to protest on the day that marks the one year countdown of 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It was a smooth entry into Canada at the border. The group was shown a slideshow of the hunger strikers just before arriving downtown Vancouver.
Hordes of media people and some local Tibetans and SFT members awaited our arrival at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Around 8 Tibetans from Seattle also drove two and half hours to join the protest. Almost entire media organizations of BC seemed to be present including some claiming to be local Chinese channels who asked some very interesting questions. The media was especially interested due to the arrest of two SFT activists from Vancouver in Beijing recently.
The program started with proudly singing the Tibetan National Anthem followed by short speeches by representatives of CTC, SFT and RTYC Portland/Vancouver. References were made about the Hunger Strike and People's Movement in India, uprising in Lithang led by Ronggay Adrak and the
arrest and release of 6 SFT activists. A mother of one of the activist arrested in China also gave a short emotional speech.
Chants of 'China out of Tibet' and 'No Olympics in China' then started the hour long march to the Chinese consulate with the crowd swelling to over 100 people. The crowd was pumped up to tell the Chinese in their face that their dream to show China as a global player will remain a dream as long as China continue its brutal occupation of Tibet, Crowd and traffic control was little hectic due to no police escorts.
The protestors got louder as they approached the Chinese consulate. Chants of 'Release Ronggay Adrak', 'Shame on China', 'STOP the KILLINGS in Tibet' rocked the gated Chinese consulate building for over two hours. The protestors were thanked for their participation and for performing their duty as a Tibetan for being the Voice of the Voiceless inside Tibet.
The day concluded with a minute silence to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their life for Tibet's Independence and to show respect to those who continue to suffer inside prisons in Tibet and the hunger strikers in India.
This trip organized by Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Portland/Vancouver. We would like to thank Brandy Leitch and Mati of SFT Victoria for all their support. Report prepared by RTYC Portland/Vancouver