Even though we don’t have snow on the ground, or freezing temperatures like much of Canada, the Uprising Day weather always seems to throw its worst at us in Victoria. This year was no exception, the day starting with howling winds and rain. Undaunted, Tibetans and Tibet supporters met the Runners of Compassion on their cross city relay at Mile Zero, where the trans-Canada highway begins. From there, more supporters joined the group and made their way to the BC Provincial Legislature for our Free Tibet Vigil.
This year, it was decided to highlight Tibetan heroes leading the way in cultural resistance to Chinese occupation, and to celebrate the growing spirit of creative, non-violent strategies being used in the freedom struggle. Names of those imprisoned by China, such as the film maker Dhondup Wangchen- whose “Leaving Fear Behind” has inspired SFT so greatly and been an invaluable tool for spreading our message- were featured on placards and handouts.
Canada Tibet Committee members Kathie and Joe addressed those assembled and read out a document from the City of Victoria, proclaming March 10th, 2011 “Tibet Day”. Next came up Member of Parliament for Victoria, Denise Savoie- who comes out almost every year to support Tibet on uprising day- and we were very grateful to see her again this year. Denise read out a statement to mark March 10th and was able to speak with people in the crowd. After some rousing chants, everyone grabbed their sign or flag and lined up along the street- making our opinions known to motorists and talking to passing pedestrians. We had a great response from the public, and in line with our buoyed mood from this, the sun finally peeked out by the end of the vigil.
It was great to see some new faces this year, and meet with old friends and supporters. We were very excited to have a couple of our newly arrived Tibetan families at the vigil- and everyone was proud to show them some of our fighting spirit on their first uprising day in Victoria.
-Bazzi, SFT Victoria
To see more photos from Victoria’s Tibet Uprising Day, visit: http://www.facebook.com/SFTCanada