FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10 March 2021
***Photos available at https://bit.ly/3cqy0B4; interviews with protest participants and movement leaders on request
TO COMMEMORATE THE 62ND ANNIVERSARY OF TIBETAN NATIONAL UPRISING DAY, TIBETANS AND ALLIES PROTESTED AT THE UN AND CHINESE CONSULATE
NEW YORK, March 10th—Today, more than 500 Tibetans and human rights activists gathered in front of the United Nations to protest and commemorate the 62nd anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day. At the UN, speakers and protesters called for freedom for the people of Tibet and for the international community to boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which activists have dubbed the “Genocide Games.”
At the UN, North American Representative to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ngodup Tsering, read out the Statement of the President of the Central Tibetan Administration:
“Over a million Tibetans have lost their lives in the past six decades under Chinese rule. Today, we have come together to collectively mourn this loss. But we are also here to mark the undaunted resilience of Tibetans in Tibet. Even under the threat of losing their lives, they continue to protest by protecting and preserving our language, our religion, our land, and our identity.”
Candidate for NYC Council, Carolyn Tran, spoke in support of Tibetans’ right to practice their culture and the importance of solidarity:
“I know that fighting for freedom is not only a return to your homeland, but also the freedom to practice and preserve your language, religion, ancient culture, and traditional medicine. This freedom is so crucial to the preservation of the Tibetan diaspora. I also know the road to freedom cannot be fought alone. We must find solidarity with other oppressed communities and link together to call out injustices.”
Prominent politicians also lent their support to those marching today. In a solidarity video message which was played in front of the UN, Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern said:
“Today we remember all those who lost their lives and were driven from their homes in Tibet. 62 years after the Chinese government’s devastating crackdown, Tibetans in Tibet are still struggling to exercise basic human rights.” He further added that the 11th Panchen Lama’s 25 years of abduction by the Chinese government makes the Tibetan spiritual leader the world’s longest detained prisoner of conscience.
Showing solidarity with the Tibetan people on the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez spoke on the House floor saying:
“For decades, the Tibetan people have bravely fought for their freedom. Including, to seek and fight for their freedom to simply be Tibetan, to speak their language, to practice their Buddhist religion, to sustain their culture, their traditional medicine, their land, and to live freely in their own country. It is the responsibility of all those who value freedom of expression and speech to stand with them against gross human rights abuses. I am proud to stand with the Tibetan residents of New York-14 (district) in their righteous fight against persecution.”
After the UN, protestors marched to the Chinese Consulate where they continued chanting slogans such as “Free Tibet, China out of Tibet now” and “China lies, people die.” In front of the Chinese Consulate, representatives from the Southern Mongolian, Hong Kong, and Jewish communities and movements lent their support to the Tibetan struggle.
The New York March 10 rally was organized by The Tibetan Community New York/New Jersey, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress NY/NJ, Dokham Chushi Gangdruk, Utsang Association of New York & New Jersey, North America Dhomay Association, United State Tibet Committee, and Students for a Free Tibet.