SF rallies remember Tibetan anniversary

March 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hundreds of demonstrators are winding their way through the streets of San Francisco Tuesday, marking the fiftieth anniversary of Tibet's uprising against China and the exile of the Dalai Lama.

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Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Tibetan uprising and the exile of the Dalai Lama. Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of San Francisco to mark the occasion and continue calls for Tibetan independence.

The event began at Justin Hermann Plaza, then went to City Hall, the Chinese Consulate and the last stop is Union Square.

Demonstrators say they are not protesting against China or Chinese people, but against the Chinese government and their policies in Tibet and China.

Demonstrators took their message through the streets of San Francisco today, while the people of Tibet remain under Martial Law.

The Chinese government tightened its grip with a brutal crackdown one year ago, during protests leading up to the Olympics.

Tensions have not eased.

"People are really, really getting very frustrated and desperate for their voices to be heard," said Deschen Tsering from the Tibetan Association of Northern California.

Tibetan supporters say they are deeply disappointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to China last month, when she said human rights was an area on which the U.S. and China could agree to disagree.

"We hope that as we move forward, the Obama administration will really stand up for human rights in Tibet and not just Tibet but also in China," said Tsering.

"I think Tibet as they signaled will be taking a backseat for some time," said Victor Menotti from the International Forum on Globalization.

Menotti said the U.S. needs China's cooperation on the crisis in the economy and on the environment. He added the U.S. can't expect to make a move one issue without repercussions on another. He has this analogy for the U.S.-China relationship.

"Maybe two octopuses learning to waltz, tentacles all over the place and they are convoluted, they are not really good dancers and they are not clear if they can dance," said Menotti.

On this 50th anniversary of his exile, the Dalai Lama told his people to hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and in anticipation of a long struggle -- to focus on educating the children.

For a sense of China's monetary hold on the U.S., it's sitting on $1 trillion on treasury securities.

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