By Tsering Gyurmey
TANC/SF Team Tibet
Hours after the Beijing Olympic started in China, Tibetan groups in San Francisco under the banner of San Francisco Team Tibet protested peacefully by marching on the Golden Gate Bridge at noon today. The Bridge was the site of the banner hang that read, "One World One Dream Free Tibet, on April 7, two days before the arrival of the Beijing Olympic Torch in San Francisco. About 400 Tibetans showed up for today's rally and March on this historic bridge to mark the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic. TV news choppers hovered over the bridge while media vans followed every inch of the march.
Before the march began, the protesters prayed for all the Tibetans who were killed by the Chinese communist regime and chanted slogans protesting Beijing's hosting of the Olympic Games.
Kasur Tenzin Namgyal Tethong, chairman of the committee of 100 for Tibet reiterated the importance of Tibetans to use the Olympic games to highlight the Tibetan cause. As the Olympic sun shines in Beijing, dark clouds of despair and anguish falls on Tibet, said Mr. Tethong.
There was a heavy presence of law enforcements and regulations restricting big banners, placards and big national flags in anticipation of surprise actions by the pro-Tibetan groups.
Protesters marched to the end of the Golden Gate Bridge at the vista point in Marin county and back towards San Francisco which took two hours and covered approximately 3.5 miles. On their way, passing vehicles honked to show support and tourist who were there to see the bridge joined in to show their support for the Tibetan freedom movement.
As they arrived back to the starting point, one of the organizers Mr. Tenzin Dasang, President of RTYC San Francisco, promised a loud and visible demonstration for the entire duration of the Olympic Games. He also called on Tibetans and supporter to continue in this same spirit, and work twice as hard to expose Beijing's true motives, and unmask the true face of the Chinese government.
Mr. Giovanni Vassallo of the Bay Area Friends of Tibet read out the message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the Beijing Olympics to the audience and later said that it is a sad day for every freedom loving people around the world that China with its such a dismal human rights record is hosting this prestigious game.
Golden Gate bridge, one of the most prominent landmark in the US was especially chosen for this peace march to attract the attention of the world to the sufferings of the Tibetan people in Tibet under the brutal Chinese communist regime.
After this successful leg of the peace march, all the protesters drove to the Chinese consulate a few miles away and concluded the day’s protest with loud and angry slogans.