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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Vigil to commemorate Tibet's struggle

March 17, 2010

by Veronika Tafoya, staff writer
Golden Gate X Press March 15, 2010

The group that gathered before City Hall on March 10 was only about 300
people, but as they stood next to each other, they hoped that their message
would be loud enough to reach across the world.

Marking the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising, members and
supporters of the Tibetan community took part in a global, non-violent
demonstration to speak out against the Chinese government's rule of Tibet
since March 10, 1959.

Tsering Dorjee, president of the San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth
Congress, said that he was impressed with the turn out for the day and
thought that it amplified the message they wanted to share with the world.

"Even now with 51 years of oppression, genocide, tyranny and injustice,
we're not going to give up," Dorjee said.

The day of demonstration was spread out in several locations of the city.
The protesters hoped this plan would expose more people to their cause.
Starting at 10 a.m., the group started at Justin Herman Plaza and marched
down Market Street to City Hall.

Standing on the steps of City Hall, people spoke out against Chinese control
of Tibet, gave honor to people who have died in the struggle for
independence and sang songs of hope and motivation for those still in Tibet.

"I was really impressed with the group," said Yangchen Lhamo, a participant
at the protest. "We've been really strong as a whole, and it really gives
you a sense of pride."

Lhamo, a member of Students for a Free Tibet, said that she has been working
to get more students engaged in the movement --both inside and outside of
Tibet.

"We're always doing more to get the message out of Tibet," she said. "We're
seeing young people voicing their opinions in a lot more creative ways,
especially through blogging and video."

One of these videos is called "I Am Tibet" and was shown at the candlelight
vigil held at Union Square. The video was made up of short clips of people
saying why they are proud to be Tibetan.

Following the rally on the steps of City Hall, the group marched together to
protest outside of the Chinese consulate and later reconvened at Union
Square for a vigil at night.

The candlelight vigil featured more speakers, songs and poems. Before the
performances and speeches, though, Tibetan community members and supporters
lit candles and placed them on the steps in front of the stage, forming the
words "Free Tibet."

After the vigil was over, the crowd followed in a procession around Union
Square while singing together.

At the end of the day, the protesters hoped that even though the crowd was
made up of people of different ages, backgrounds and ideas, their unity
would serve as a symbol of solidarity and support for human rights across
the world.

"We are one team, one sound," Dorjee said. "We are stronger than ever."
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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