Richmond mayor announced as speaker at Tibet protest on Sunday in San Francisco

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin will be one of the speakers at the “Tibetan National Uprising Day” observance and protest on Sunday in San Francisco.
The event marking the 54th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day will also feature San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos as a speaker.
From the press release sent by the Rainforest Action Network:


Speakers Include: SF Supervisor John Avalos and Mayor of Richmond, Gayle McGlaughlin
Global Protests Mark 54th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day

“Tibetan National Uprising Day” Schedule – Sunday, March 10, 2013, San Francisco

10:00am – Opening ceremony and cultural exposition at SF City Hall
March & Demonstration:
12:00pm-1:00pm – March to Chinese Consulate, via Van Ness Ave & Geary Blvd
1:00pm-2:30pm – Rally & Demonstration at Chinese Consulate, 1450 Laguna St
2:30pm-4:30pm – March to SF Union Square via Geary Blvd & Market St
5:00pm-8:00pm – Rally and Political Theater at SF Union Square

[San Francisco, CA] Thousands of Tibetans and Tibet supporters across the globe will take to the streets on March 10, 2013. This day commemorates the 1959 National Uprising when tens of thousands of Tibetans rose up to demand an end to China’s occupation. As this sensitive day approaches and protests in Tibet increase, Chinese forces have intensified security measures (detaining Tibetans without cause) and surveillance of Tibetan activities, including religious rites. In the face of Beijing’s stranglehold, a new generation of Tibetans has risen up, defying Chinese authority. A growing number of Tibetans are engaged in simple yet powerful actions like speaking only Tibetan, and exclusively patronizing Tibetan-owned businesses.[1] They are also embracing nonviolent resistance tactics; these courageous Tibetans have strengthened their Tibetan identity and inspired hope.

In addition, at least 107 Tibetan self-immolations have taken place since 2009, 11 since January 2013, most with fatal consequences. 106 of these self-immolations have occurred since March 16, 2011.[2] This is an average of more than 4 self-immolations a month for the past 23 months. China’s failed policies, ever-increasing suppression of Tibetan culture, language, religion; and their unprecedented number of other human rights violations, are a direct cause of this unparalleled wave of self-immolations and protests throughout Tibet. As Tenzin Rangdol, President of San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, stated, “Tibetans in exile are determined to amplify the demands of Tibetans in Tibet extensively to gain stronger diplomatic and political support from the international community.”

The year 2013 is especially important to Tibetans as they celebrate the centennial of the Affirmation of Independence of Tibet. On February 13, 1913, the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso (12 February, 1876 – 17 December, 1933) signed a document that outlined and declared a vision for Tibet that included peace and happiness for the world, the preservation of Tibet’s Buddhist values, and the scientific advancement of the people of Tibet.

This March 10th, Tibetans and Tibet supporters on an international scale, including in the USA, Poland, UK, France, Germany, Canada, India, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan, are demonstrating their support for the Tibetan freedom struggle through rallies, marches, candle light vigils, and government lobbying initiatives.

In the SF Bay Area, home to the third largest community of Tibetans in the United States, Tibetans and supporters will take to the streets calling for freedom and respect for human rights in Tibet.

San Francisco Team Tibet, a coalition of Bay Area Tibetan and Tibet support groups, including Tibetan Association of Northern California, San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Bay Area Friends of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet, are organizing local March 10th events.

[1] More information about the nonviolent resistance movement in Tibet can be found at http://www.lhakar.org a website launched on March 9, 2011 by a diverse coalition of Tibetan writers, artists, and activists.
[2] These numbers are as of February 27, 2013. The latest information on self-immolations including names and dates is available at http://www.savetibet.org/resource-center/maps-data-fact-sheets/self-immolation-fact-sheet

Chris Treadway