As an activist who has taken part in a number of collective gatherings, from marches, protests, remembrances and rally’s, the unity and organization I felt on this 10th March for the 61st Anniversary of Tibetan uprising against the Colonial take over by the Peoples Republic China (PRC), left an impression on me. As a non-Tibetan and supporter of a politically independent Tibet, I felt welcomed and part of something truly in need of public and political attention.
As a collective, the events speakers and route of our march, simultaneously engaged us in the history of the past and present. Within the selected narrative, we as actors, may then see how living in the present, we can play a part in the Tibetans struggle for; political independence, freedom from Chinese state oppression and the Tibetan pursuit for compassion in this world, which has been eroded by social systems that favor individualism and competition. It is a day that continues only because of the fact their struggle is ongoing.
‘So it is with sadness that we commemorate 61 years since the uprising against that oppression and occupation by the Chinese, which goes on unabated to this day.’ Tim Loughton – All party Parliamentary group for Tibet.
Outside 10 Downing Street, a series of speeches from Tibet support organizations; Free Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), Tibet Society and Tibet community UK and Tim Loughton from the All Parliamentary group for Tibet, reminded us of the relationship between Britain and Tibet, a Britain that throughout the first part of the twentieth century recognized Tibet as autonomous and an independent nation state. In 1951 however, the Chinese’s communist party bullied the Dalai Lama and his government to sign the 17 point agreement which in writing, claimed Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Under Westphalian international law, this has given the Chinese state complete control over Tibet as an internal affair to the exclusion of external powers.
Loud and clear we marched through the centre of London, ‘FREE TIBET, CHINA OUT!, FREE TIBET, CHINA OUT, FREE TIBET, CHINA OUT!’
Arriving outside the Chinese embassy, guards are positioned outside the door and curtains that were originally open, were then closed. This reception outside the Chinese’s embassy, as pointed out by our speakers, was emotionally symbolic of the current systematic and ruthless oppression of the Tibetan people. Chinese state oppression that is on going is further evidenced by: 1. protracted Hong Kong protests, 2. Initially restricting the reporting of COVID 19, 3. Discrimination and use of prison camps for ‘re-education’ programs on the Uighur people in Xinjiang province, and not forgetting, 4. the intimidation and oppression towards Taiwan.
Following the visit to the Chinese embassy, we made our way to Regents hall Oxford street where the range of speakers appealed for more international support notwithstanding the enormous support demonstrated during the rally on the day.