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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Street Dogs: American Musicians Stand Up For Tibet's Imprisoned Artists (VIDEO)

October 6, 2010

Heidiminx
Huffington Post
October 5, 2010

Several years ago, I watched "Cry Of The Snow
Lion", and was invigorated by a scene three
quarters of the way through, the famed Tibet
Freedom concerts, spearheaded by the Beastie Boys.

The Milarepa Fund, started by Adam Yauch -- used
music and musical venues to educate leaflets
cited their mission, "Central to any widespread
change are young people. Youth form a creative,
energetic, idealistic, determined and intelligent
force and given the resources, we are capable of
using the tools of our culture to amass a
widespread movement for change. As an
organization, the Milarepa Fund actively supports
the social change that the Tibetan struggle
embodies, and we support the youth of the world
who represent a powerful vehicle to achieve that change."

The seeds of this youth-driven movement for Tibet
were planted 17 years ago, gained traction on the
Lollapalooza Tour, and evolved into a series of
Tibetan Freedom concerts. The first dedicated
Tibetan Freedom Concert was held over two days,
and featured bands like Smashing Pumpkins and the
Foo Fighters; it raised $800,000 and had 100,000 attendees.

Much has changed in 17 years, but unfortunately,
Tibet's situation has not. In fact, in the past
two years, it has grown worse, and in an ironic
twist, arrests, disappearances, and extended
sentences to Laogai (reform-through-labor
concentration camps) have increased for Tibetan
musicians, filmmakers and writers.

Budgets don't exist today for concerts like they
did 17 years ago, and album art has been
downsized to fit a iPod screen, minimizing the
message of liner notes -- but that doesn't have
to stop messages from being heard. To reiterate
-- we are STILL capable of using the tools of our
culture to amass a widespread movement for change.

The tools of our culture have changed, our always
online status allows us to sign a petition in
less time than it takes us to find a pen -- to
share a message with friends faster than we could
stick a stamp on a chain letter, and in minutes
access the issues of importance before we cast
our votes for our community and national leaders.

Built on Respect has experienced a groundswell of
support from musicians -- youth in Italy have
coordinated fests for awareness, bands and TV
personalities have taped and circulated videos --
and amazing individuals, like the members of the
Street Dogs -- have made their songs and concerts platforms for activism.

The stage may have changed, but is STILL there
for the youth of the world to achieve change.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBZtJ9zYivM&

* Heidiminx is the founder and face of Built on
Respect. Minx embraces the DIY mentality,
personally working to raise funds, and directly
oversee their disbursement while documenting it,
working side by side with different community
organizations in the Tibetan refugee community of Dharamsala, India.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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