Members of the Los Angeles friends of Tibet held a "die-in" outside the Chinese Consulate on Monday afternoon to protest the recent Chinese crackdown on Tibet in advance of the Beijing Olympics. 40 people laid still in the street, corresponding with the number of Tibetans killed in the recent uprising whose names are known. Many others have died anonymously. In total, there have been 140 confirmed Tibetans killed in the past month, but event organizer Tseten Phanucharas suspects "there may be many more we don't know about." Phanucharas said she hopes the protest will put pressure on President Bush to boycott the Olympics if conditions in Tibet don't improve.
Several hundred people showed up in support of the Tibetan cause, among them more than a dozen Vietnamese anti-communists, waving the flag of "free South Vietnam" as they called it. The group held signs decrying Chinese occupation of the Paracel and Spratly Islands, but protester Cao Tue Ahn, 25, said they were mainly there "in solidarity with the Tibetan people. We know what it means to be occupied."
Phanucharas was happy for their support: "There are only 14,000 Tibetans in North America. We need everyone's help if Tibet is to be freed."
Monks say a prayer for the people killed in the protests, symbolized Monday at the "die-in."
Protesting in front of the door of the Chinese consulate on Shatto Pl.
Photos by Mark Mauer
Volunteers create signs bearing the names of the 40 dead whose identities are known.
Boxes representing the more than 1.5 million names gathered asking China to respect the human rights of the people of Tibet.
A few people left the Chinese Consulate through a side door (not this golden one) and some drove away through an underground parking garage, but there was no activity seen inside the building.
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Photos by Mark Mauer