By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, Nov 14: In a bold and attention-grabbing act of protest, three activists from the San Francisco chapter of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) on November 10 unfurled a large “Free Tibet” while also boldly proclaimed “Dictator Xi Jinping, Your Time is Up!” banner from the roof of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The protest comes just days before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit where the Chinese President is scheduled to attend.
The incident had a significant presence on social media platforms, with pictures and videos quickly going viral. In a widely shared video on Twitter, activists can be heard chanting “Free Tibet”.
In a tweet following their high-profile protest in San Francisco, the activists who hung the banner emphasised their commitment to resisting Xi Jinping’s regime and supporting the Tibetan cause. The tweet read, “Xi can’t hide from the countless people united against his authoritarian regime. Generations of Tibetans will always resist his dictatorship until Tibet is free.”
Tenzin Namgyal, a 17-year-old Tibetan-American activist who was part of the unfurling said, “Since China’s President Xi last visited the US Tibetans have witnessed our language, religion and culture come under direct attack from Xi’s genocidal policies and we are facing the elimination of our distinct Tibetan language, culture and identity if the world doesn’t act.”
It is also noted that SFT is organising a larger protest during the APEC summit, under the banner of “Rise Up Against Xi: Biggest Unwelcome Protest.”
The upcoming APEC summit, scheduled from Nov 15-16 in San Francisco, holds significant diplomatic importance, as Biden and Xi are expected to meet on the side-lines of the summit. This anticipated meeting follows their last encounter approximately a year ago during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.