24 April 2008

Torch Protest Rally Information

| AussieGal83
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From The Australia-Tibet Council…

Thursday 24 April

We are focusing on holding a really good, well-organized and structured rally on the Parliament Lawn where we can provide a visible and positive presence, a safe environment for demonstrators and a focal point for the media.

What: Rally for Human Rights in Tibet
Where: East side of the lawn in front of Parliament House
When: Thursday 24th April, from 8.00am. Speakers and cultural performances will start at 9.00am (the torch is expected at 9.20am) and finish around 11.00am. We ask that people come much earlier to save a good spot on the lawns and given parking difficulties. We will be there from 8.00am.
Program: Speakers include Senator Bob Brown, George Farley (Chairman of the Australia Tibet Council) and representatives from Australia’s Tibetan Community.

Messaging On The Day
Our challenge is to create a strong and positive message. We cannot overemphasise the need for a peaceful and non-violent demonstration.

Avoid anything that can be construed as an attack on the Chinese people or an attempt to spoil the Olympics. Instead, we must bring the focus back to Tibet – drawing attention to the current situation inside Tibet and urging the Chinese leadership to work with the Dalai Lama towards a peaceful resolution.

ATC will focus on the following two slogans for the day:

‘Don’t Torch Tibet’
Explanation: Carrying the Olympic Torch up Mount Everest and through Lhasa and other Tibetan areas is a political manoeuvre by the Chinese leadership to symbolically cement and legitimise their control over the region. We are deeply concerned that this move will deepen the current crisis, incite further unrest inside Tibet and lead to more arrests and suffering among the Tibetan people.

‘China, Please Talk to the Dalai Lama’
Explanation: Tibet is in turmoil. China’s oppressive rule in Tibet and discriminatory economic and development strategies are not working. China must enter into sincere negotiations with the Dalai Lama and begin a path through dialogue towards a peaceful resolution, a step that would yield far greater international respect and esteem than a successful Olympics.

What To Bring
We are encouraging all who are coming to bring banners, placards and Tibetan flags to help us create a colourful and vibrant rally. You may also want to bring some water, snacks and sun protection.


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I can’t post any more on the main story about the torch relay. It’s that old problem with long topics, the picture disappears, as do the reply functions. Might just be an Internet Explorer problem, but I cannot be bothered downloading Opera.

Anyway, last night Stateline had a long feature report about Chinese behaviour at the torch relay. They showed lots of footage of them screaming obsenities, harassing people, bashing people over the head with their flags and grabbing their signs and banners. Lots of interviews, old tibetans crying etc. So at least someone made an effort to show what really went on. Well done, local ABC.

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