The Beijing Olympics’ opening ceremonies are tomorrow, and already, Tibet has been on the tongue of many reporters covering the Games. As one CBC reporter put it last night, “Tibet has come back to haunt China.”
Yesterday, a group of us protested outside the Chinese embassy in Ottawa. Five people chained themselves to the front gate while two climbed light posts to hang banners reading “One World, One Dream: Free Tibet” in English and French.
It all happened so fast: the troop of reporters, cameramen and photographers arrived, followed by car after car of police and RCMP. The blockaders were quickly surrounded by media as the climbers hung their banners on the nearby light posts. The nervousness I originally felt had subsided because I knew we were all in this together and that people around the world were also protesting. We knew we were doing the right thing by standing in solidarity with Tibetans and their supporters who were protesting in Beijing, Vancouver, San Francisco, and London.
Watching the news back at home last night, I saw my new friends sitting resolutely in front of the Chinese embassy gate. For so many years, we respected the police barricades and peacefully protested across the street from this embassy. But with the Beijing Olympics starting tomorrow and China trying to cover up its human rights violations in Tibet, I am so glad that we took the personal risk to scale up our regular protests. It was a small one in comparison to Tibetans inside of Tibet who risk their lives to speak out against China’s brutal occupation of Tibet. But it showed us all that we can accomplish a lot when we stand up for truth and justice.