UK Uighurs Demonstration in London – Join and stand in solidarity!

On July 5, 2009, thousands of Uighur students took to the streets of Urumchi to show their condemnation of the Chinese government’s handling of a mob attack on Uighur workers a week earlier in Shaoguan, Guangdong Province, in which 18 Uighurs were killed and more than 300 were injured, and to get an answer to why the police did not show up for hours to stop the Chinese attackers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_PJTO2k0PM

Armed Chinese troops have flooded Urumchi, the capital of East Turkestan (Chinese: Xinjiang) following days of violent unrest. The situation remains incredibly tense. Chinese president Hu Jintao has vowed to "restore order" and "severely punish" Uighurs that have protested, after he returned from the G-8 Summit in Italy to oversee the intensified political and military crackdown against the Uighur people.

Events in East Turkestan mirror what happened in Chinese-occupied Tibet last year. Chinese authorities have arrested more than 1,400 Uighurs, blocked phone lines and the internet, and launched a propaganda campaign to portray the Uighurs as the sole perpetrators of the violence.

To condemn this injustice, the Uighur community in the UK is organizing a demonstration on Wednesday 15 July. We therefore request all freedom-loving people to join us in supporting the oppressed people in East Turkestan.

Organisers: The Uighur UK Association
Date: Wednesday 15 July
Time: Starts at 12pm
Venue: Gather opposite the Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL. (Nearest underground stations: Regents Park, Great Portland St and Oxford Circus)

Schedule:

12pm: Gather opposite the Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL

1pm: We march to Richmond Terrace, off of Whithall (opposite Downing Street).

3pm: A Uighur UK Association delegation will petition the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street

5pm: Finish

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UK Uighurs Demonstration in London – Join and stand in solidarity!

On July 5, 2009, thousands of Uighur students took to the streets of Urumchi to show their condemnation of the Chinese government’s handling of a mob attack on Uighur workers a week earlier in Shaoguan, Guangdong Province, in which 18 Uighurs were killed and more than 300 were injured, and to get an answer to why the police did not show up for hours to stop the Chinese attackers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_PJTO2k0PM

Armed Chinese troops have flooded Urumchi, the capital of East Turkestan (Chinese: Xinjiang) following days of violent unrest. The situation remains incredibly tense. Chinese president Hu Jintao has vowed to "restore order" and "severely punish" Uighurs that have protested, after he returned from the G-8 Summit in Italy to oversee the intensified political and military crackdown against the Uighur people.

Events in East Turkestan mirror what happened in Chinese-occupied Tibet last year. Chinese authorities have arrested more than 1,400 Uighurs, blocked phone lines and the internet, and launched a propaganda campaign to portray the Uighurs as the sole perpetrators of the violence.

To condemn this injustice, the Uighur community in the UK is organizing a demonstration on Wednesday 15 July. We therefore request all freedom-loving people to join us in supporting the oppressed people in East Turkestan.

Organisers: The Uighur UK Association
Date: Wednesday 15 July
Time: Starts at 12pm
Venue: Gather opposite the Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL. (Nearest underground stations: Regents Park, Great Portland St and Oxford Circus)

Schedule:

12pm: Gather opposite the Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL

1pm: We march to Richmond Terrace, off of Whithall (opposite Downing Street).

3pm: A Uighur UK Association delegation will petition the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street

5pm: Finish

Comments

‘Beijing 6′ Brian gives Shout Out to SFT on PBS Idea Lab

Brian Conley, creator of the well-known videoblog, Alive in Baghdad, and one of the ‘Beijing 6‘ citizen journalist detained this summer in Beijing for capturing images and videos of pro-Tibet actions during the Olympics, was interviewed for PBS Idea Lab about his incredibly important new project Alive in Tehran.

During his interview, Brian gave the following shout out to SFT and our efforts to break through China’s Great Firewall. Read and listen to the fill interview.

Ryan: So while you weren’t on the ground in Gaza, you had connections who were, and were able to get information out, too.

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Brian: Exactly, and then we used Twitter to pull in questions from people and enable people to sort of interact with our guy on the ground there. So then when Iran started happening it seemed like a natural fit to try and use the same tools for the folks there, to enable them to basically communicate out. The primary thing that we’re trying, that we’re pushing right now, is basically a phone number that people can call, get to a voicemail box and record whatever they would like to say, and right now I have a public voice mailbox available via an Alive in Tehran Facebook [group].

Also, people can message me via twitter.com/baghdadbrian and then for people who are more private or who have family, they just want to share one voicemail box…we can set up a specific number for any individual. Beyond that, we’re looking at other tools. I’ve learned a little bit about how Students for a Free Tibet have gotten video out of Tibet. So there’s one tool I’m sort of sharing with people privately. Then there on Alive in Tehran we have a list of tools Iranians can use to communicate securely. So basically, right now it’s a lot of organizing and working it.

SFT Canada’s Tsering Confronts HDI/Continental Minerals’ Executives

Footage from HDI/Continental Minerals Shareholders’ meeting in Vancouver, Canada on June 24th. Tibetans and their supporters protested at the meeting to intenisfy pressure on the company to Stop Mining Tibet.

PLA Generals visit UK Parliament

LONDON - A military delegation comprised of People's Liberation Army (PLA) generals is visiting the UK this week with their schedule centred around parliamentary engagements. The delegation, headed by Lt General Zhao Gang who is Vice President of Beijing's National Defence University, met with the Defence Committee and part of their agenda is to discuss 'military reform', Students for a Free Tibet UK has learned. The visit comes at a time when areas of Tibet remain under tight military control and a year on from well documented instances of mass demonstrations by Tibetans being dispersed by indiscriminate gunfire by PLA soldiers. During the visit, news has emerged from Tibet of another instance of gunfire being used to suppress protest, as a violent crackdown against a Tibetan farming boycott in the Chamdo area led to a demonstrator named Tsering being shot. The severity of Tsering's injuries are unknown at the time of writing.

In May 2009 Tsewang Dhondup and his brother escaped into exile having been involved in last year's demonstrations. Tsewang, himself shot and seriously injured by the Chinese military whilst helping a wounded monk, has given testimony detailing the lethal force used by the PLA against demonstrators in Dragko County on 24 March 2008. Tsewang stated: “Around 4:30 pm on March 24, a massive protest demonstration led by around 150 nuns from Ngangong Nunnery broke out in Dragko. Several more monks from Palden Chokri and hundreds of lay people, mainly farmers later joined the march." Tsewang spoke of how Chinese forces "indiscriminately opened fire on the demonstrators, shelled tear gas and used electric prods and iron batons to quell the protest.”

"This delegation is visiting shortly after the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and it is important to emphasise that two decades later PLA generals are just as willing to order the shooting of unarmed peaceful protesters," said Terry Bettger, spokesperson for Students for a Free Tibet UK, "Over the past 15 months excessive and lethal force has been meted out against Tibetans by PLA forces simply because they called out for their fundamental human rights and freedoms. Students for a Free Tibet UK call upon British parliamentarians to make strong representations to the PLA delegation condemning such actions and demanding serious military reform to prevent such atrocities occurring in the future."

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PLA Generals visit UK Parliament

LONDON - A military delegation comprised of People's Liberation Army (PLA) generals is visiting the UK this week with their schedule centred around parliamentary engagements. The delegation, headed by Lt General Zhao Gang who is Vice President of Beijing's National Defence University, met with the Defence Committee and part of their agenda is to discuss 'military reform', Students for a Free Tibet UK has learned. The visit comes at a time when areas of Tibet remain under tight military control and a year on from well documented instances of mass demonstrations by Tibetans being dispersed by indiscriminate gunfire by PLA soldiers. During the visit, news has emerged from Tibet of another instance of gunfire being used to suppress protest, as a violent crackdown against a Tibetan farming boycott in the Chamdo area led to a demonstrator named Tsering being shot. The severity of Tsering's injuries are unknown at the time of writing.

In May 2009 Tsewang Dhondup and his brother escaped into exile having been involved in last year's demonstrations. Tsewang, himself shot and seriously injured by the Chinese military whilst helping a wounded monk, has given testimony detailing the lethal force used by the PLA against demonstrators in Dragko County on 24 March 2008. Tsewang stated: “Around 4:30 pm on March 24, a massive protest demonstration led by around 150 nuns from Ngangong Nunnery broke out in Dragko. Several more monks from Palden Chokri and hundreds of lay people, mainly farmers later joined the march." Tsewang spoke of how Chinese forces "indiscriminately opened fire on the demonstrators, shelled tear gas and used electric prods and iron batons to quell the protest.”

"This delegation is visiting shortly after the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and it is important to emphasise that two decades later PLA generals are just as willing to order the shooting of unarmed peaceful protesters," said Terry Bettger, spokesperson for Students for a Free Tibet UK, "Over the past 15 months excessive and lethal force has been meted out against Tibetans by PLA forces simply because they called out for their fundamental human rights and freedoms. Students for a Free Tibet UK call upon British parliamentarians to make strong representations to the PLA delegation condemning such actions and demanding serious military reform to prevent such atrocities occurring in the future."

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When the Party’s over…the joke will be on them

It’s unbelievable the lengths to which the Chinese government will go to cover up the June 4th, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre: It has denied it ever happened; erased it from China’s history books; imprisoned and exiled survivors; threatened anyone who dares to openly mourn, demand justice, or even talk about what really happened in Tiananmen Square in the lead-up to and on that fateful day. They have forced an entire generation to ‘forget,’ and they have effectively kept the next generation from ever hearing of their parents’ struggles, hopes, and horrific losses.

Twenty years later, as the above video demonstrates, the Chinese government has not changed. However, the Party leadership has learned that when a government opens fire on its own people, it attracts intense international scrutiny – exactly 100% more negative attention than they want. In turn, they have adapted and developed new, more subtle tactics, like the umbrella assault, to distract the world’s attention from the Chinese government’s brutally repressive policies.

Your instinct when watching this video is to laugh; even one of the Chinese undercover thugs reveals a smile. But behind the humor and the lightness of the umbrella assault is a smart, strategic, and very scary government that regularly detains, tortures, and disappears Tibetans, Chinese, and anyone who threatens its control by advocating for change.

But, this video also demonstrates the Party’s ultimate weakness. By not acknowledging or taking responsibility for its heinous crimes in 1989 in Tiananmen Square, or today, the Chinese leadership is driving a wedge between the Party and the people. The people remember the brutality, the death, and the pain. If you are never able to mourn openly, to grieve and to share the truth of your experience, how can you ever fully move on? The Chinese government’s strategy of balancing an open economy, while simultaneously keeping the door to historical honesty and political freedom slammed shut, is unsustainable.

If one thing is certain, it’s that change will come to China. The scales will inevitably tip in favor of political openness, and when the Party falls, it will fall hard. In the end, the joke will be on them.

Tibetans, Supporters March on Eve of Tiananmen Massacre Anniversary

Photos of yesterday’s Solidarity March in NYC. We took to the streets in support of the survivors of Tiananmen Square, their families and all those in China who continue to courageously advocate for their basic rights and freedom. Check out SFT HQ’s Flickr site to view more photos.

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