Report from SFT Victoria by our very own Bazzi Irvine:
This year we held our annual rally in coordination with Canada Tibet Committee Victoria and the Tibetan Association of Vancouver Island. We were fortunate to have a delegation of Tibetans take the ferry over from Vancouver to join us and bolster our numbers. The event began in Centennial Square in Downtown Victoria where the ‘Runners of Compassion’ entered the square after a flag run beginning at Mile 0 of the Trans-Canada highway. By the time we had all gathered together and picked up our placards and banners, the sun had come out to greet us.
We set off down Government Street towards our destination of the BC Provincial Legislative Assembly handing out leaflets and chanting the whole way. Many tourists and locals were out enjoying the weather and lined up to see us walk past. Our numbers grew to more than 60 people and we took up a whole city block from end to end of our procession.
At the Legislature students from local Highschools and the University unfurled a giant Tibetan Flag while speeches were given. The city of Victoria declared March 10th ‘Tibet Day’, and members of government sent words for the demonstrators. Denise Savoie – NDP MP for Victoria, who for years has joined us in the March to the Legislative Assembly sent a statement of support to be read. Elizabeth May, local MP and Leader of the Federal Green Party also sent a letter to encourage everyone who came.
We had a successful event with lots of students showing up to lend their support. Many of us in Victoria will be joining the Vancouver demonstration this Saturday, March 10th.
– Bazzi Irvine