Circle the Bay for Tibet

CircleTheBay

In solidarity with Tibetans suffering under brutal human rights abuses in China-occupied Tibet, Rangzen: The International Tibet Independence Movement will lead a 108-mile “March for Tibet’s Independence” from March 23 – 30 in San Francisco, California. Tibetans and Tibet supporters from around the U.S. will join Circle the Bay for Tibet to protest the repressive conditions that have led Tibetans to set themselves on fire to demand basic freedoms and the return of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled leader.

REGIONAL CO-SPONSORS:

Bay Area Friends of Tibet
Bay Area Students for a Free Tibet Congress
Tibetan Association of Northern California
San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth Congress

Time Magazine has described the spate of self-immolations in Tibet over the last few years as one of the most underreported stories of 2011, and the burnings have only continued to intensify. Self-immolation is a horrific form of protest that Americans first saw on television during the Vietnam War, and which touched off Tunisia’s democratic uprising and the wider ‘Arab Spring.’ Its emergence in Tibet illustrates the despair of many Tibetans at their plight under Chinese occupation, now in its seventh decade.

Chinese authorities have responded to the self-immolations in Tibet by sealing off much of Tibet to outside visitors and further militarizing the area, exacerbating the conditions that are driving the devastating wave of self-immolations. On December 5, 2012, Beijing’s new leadership under Xi Jinping reinforced its hardline position on Tibet by announcing that anyone caught aiding or inciting self-immolations will be charged with murder. Nearly 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet since 2009 in protest of China’s continued occupation and to demand the return of the Dalai Lama from exile. The most recent immolation was a teenage boy in Tibet on January 24, 2013. This will be the 19th ‘March’ or ‘Ride’ for Tibet’s independence organized by Rangzen (formerly ITIM) since 1995. The walkers and cyclists have covered 3,876 miles over 377 days since 1997 in their campaigns to generate awareness about the repression in Tibet by the Chinese government.

WHY WE ORGANIZE FOR TIBET:

-To restore Tibet’s rightful independence
-To amplify the voices of Tibetans inside Tibet who desire their freedom
-Because The Panchen Lama- Gendhun Choekyi Nyima- has been missing since 1995.
-Because thousands of Tibetans, like Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, remain in prison or are missing.
-Because The Dalai Lama- Tibet’s spiritual leader- is still living in exile.

“We are walking in solidarity with our fellow Tibetans inside Tibet because their situation is very serious,” said Ngawang Norbu, Rangzen ITIM board member. “To date, nearly one hundred people have self-immolated, and their last wishes were for the freedom of the Tibetan people and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. We need to bring their message to the international community because this rising death toll  and the conditions in Tibet demand a new approach from governments and  citizens the world over. We want Tibetans inside Tibet to know that the world is listening.”

Read @ Free Tibet Now