Tibetan monastery in Zhongdian, Yunnan. China, May 2006. Photo by Zara Jarvinen.
MADISON, Wis. – Roughly 100 people protesting the Chinese occupation of Tibet converged on the Capitol Square Monday morning, chanting angrily into megaphones and waving signs that read “Free Tibet” in English, Tibetan and Chinese.
The demonstration marked the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising, when tens of thousands of Tibetans revolted against annexation. Protests around the world commemorated the date, and had an added potency this year because of the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing.
Tsering Kunga, a Madison resident and Tibetan who held a banner towards the back of the procession at the capitol, said he doesn’t feel China deserved the Olympic nomination because of the country’s human rights record and lack of religious freedoms.
“We really don’t have any freedom,” Kunga, who has lived in Madison for two years, said of his home country. “Especially the freedom of religion is not at all in China, so this is the main thing that we are uprising against.”
A monk marched out in front of the protesters as they rounded the capitol. A man draped in a Tibetan flag shouted into a megaphone, leading the crowd in call-and-response. “China Lies,” he yelled. Protesters boomed back like an echo, “People die.”
Read more at The Capital Times.