Mobilization for Tibet

Five hundred Tibetans and Tibet Supporters march from the World Bank to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC – In the culmination of a week of activism known as the “Mobilization for Tibet,” the heads of the International Campaign for Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet and the U.S. Tibet Committee will engage in civil disobedience today at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, the same day that President Bush leaves for Asia and his first official state visit to Beijing next week.

In addition, hundreds of Tibetans and supporters will march from the World Bank to the Chinese Embassy where they will rally in conjunction with the civil disobedience, beginning around 1pm.

Ten Tibetans and Tibet supporters have been already arrested this week for engaging in acts of civil disobedience at the Chinese Embassy. As part of the Mobilization for Tibet, daily protests have taken place at the Chinese Embassy to draw attention to China’s occupation of Tibet.

More arrests are expected today as the heads of prominent Tibetan support groups attempt to deliver letters to the Chinese officials inside of the Embassy, marking the first time that they will demonstrate their solidarity in such a capacity.

Mobilization for Tibet

Twelve Tibetans and Tibet supporters were arrested for civil disobedience in front of the Chinese Embassy on February 15, 2002 as part of the Mobilization for Tibet. Seven of the arrestees are pictured above. From left: Don Hall (New York University SFT), Sonam Wangdu (Chair of the US Tibet Committee), John Ackerly (President of the International Campaign for Tibet), Carl Williams (Board of SFT), John Hocevar (Executive Director of SFT), Tenzin Kalsang Choephel (SFT) and Mike Grudzinski (New York University SFT).

Thousands of supporters around the world have taken part in the Mobilization for Tibet by calling, faxing, emailing and writing letters urging the President and Congress to push for a negotiated solution to the Tibet issue.

“We are calling on President Bush to push for China to begin negotiations with the Dalai Lama or his representatives,” said John Ackerly, President of the International Campaign for Tibet.

“In the aftermath of September 11, Mr. Bush should also make it clear that the War on Terrorism not be used as an excuse to crush the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people,” Ackerly said.

“Mr. Bush should support the nonviolent perseverance of the Tibetan people and demonstrate that committing to nonviolent conflict resolution is an integral part of opposing terrorism,” said Ackerly.

Students for a Free Tibet, one of the organizers of the Mobilization for Tibet, said that they are expecting hundreds of students and Tibetans from across the United States to join the march and rally, many of whom also plan to engage in civil disobedience to demonstrate their commitment to the nonviolent Tibetan cause.