March 10, 2015 is the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising leading to the Dalai Lama’s flight into exile in 1959, and the seventh anniversary of an unprecedented wave of protests which swept through Tibet, only to be met by a violent crackdown. This year’s March 10 anniversary has a particular resonance as the Dalai Lama’s will turn 80 this year, a moment of particular significance to Tibetans.

Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), said: “On March 10, 1959, Tibetans rose up as one to oppose China’s occupation and demand the right to determine their own affairs. Fifty-six years later, the situation in Tibet has only worsened. Security has been heightened dramatically in Tibet with massive military deployments, military drills, and police checkpoints with fire trucks standing by in case of self-immolations. Even so, with an unquenchable spirit, the people of Tibet have demonstrated their determination to express their identity, and the devotion to the Dalai Lama that the Chinese authorities have sought to suppress. At the time of this somber anniversary, we stand in solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet in their quest for freedom and justice.”

The International Campaign for Tibet will mark the March 10 anniversary in Geneva at the U.N., in Paris for a major European rally, and in Washington, DC, at a March for Tibet to the White House.

ICT will join thousands of Tibetans and their supporters from across Europe gathering in Paris for a major rally on March 14, 2015, to demonstrate their solidarity with the Tibetan freedom struggle and the Dalai Lama in his 80th birth year. Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director for ICT said: “ICT has asked cartoonists and artists, including the well-known Swiss artist Cosey, to provide images for the Paris rally on their perception of the situation in Tibet. Their paintings illustrate very clearly the excessive militarization of Tibet, the absence of freedom of expression and of freedom of religion. But at the same time they highlight the resistance of the Tibetan people and the non-violent nature of their struggle.”