200 people for Tibet Independence in Marselle
We were nearly two hundred people gathered in Marseille (France) to commemorate the Tibetan Uprising of March 10th 1959. These last years, it was very difficult to mobilize people since the conjecture of 2002 when the Tibetan Government in Exile requested to refrain demonstrations, what created some confusion among Tibet supporters in France and all over the world. This year in Marseille, we were not many more people, maybe some few more, but there were old faces and new ones.
This year in Marseille, people came back with a new spirit, with a new hope and with a new determination. We shouted slogans for two hours non-stop. We shouted slogans at the top our voice and from the bottom of our heart : "Freedom for Tibet, Independence for Tibet, Selfdetermination for Tibetan People, Last Chance for Negociations, Decolonization of Tibet, No Olympics in China".
We walked during two hours from the Justice Palace to the Chinese Consulate. We walked during two hours across the city over seven miles. We walked and we shouted for the Tibetan Freedom.
After these two hours of walk and of so inspiring shouts, we arrived in front of the Chinese Consulate. There were security policemen waiting for us and protecting Chinese Consulate and French interests. Of course, our protest was a peaceful one, but an energic one. But more important, there were also French elected people waiting for us protecting Tibetan sovereignty and French dignity.
Facing the Chinese Consulate, we unfurled gigantic banderoles and large Tibetan flags. Then we started the solemn introduction (Tibetan National Hymn and few minutes of silence) before reading the Message of His Holliness the Dalai Lama. His appeal to unity was very inspiring. His appeal to support TGIE’s Middle Way Approach was legitimate and of course we listened to him.
We red some main parts of a last article of Jamyang Norbu (Looking Back From Nangpa-La)also. By keeping in mind the words of Jamyang Norbu, we remembered March 10th 1959. And so, on March 10th 1959, Tibetan people may have surrounded the Norbulingka not only because of fear that the Dalai Lama was about to be captured, but because that he would make more concessions to Chinese demands, essentialy on matters of sovereignty. What the Tibetan people basically did on that March day in 1959 was declare : "We want the Dalai Lama back". And they took him back.
After this, French elected people addressed to the meeting : the Socialist MP (PS) Mr Christophe Masse, a representative of the Republican MP (UMP) Mr Dominique Tian and the Green Regional Councillor (Les Verts) Ms Catherine Levraud. They all expressed their strong support to the peaceful struggle of the Tibetan people. They also supported the Dalai Lama appeal for dialogue with China. But at the same time, they acknowledged that there was no positive answer from China and that there was no improvement in Tibet. So, after expressing their support to the Middle Way Approach as a good and peaceful stand, they said : "We support Tibetan Sovereignty. We support Tibetan right to independence. Tibetans are not Chinese. Tibetans are Tibetans. We support Tibetan Freedom".
A representative of the FRA Nor Seround (Socialist Armenian Youth) expressed the support of her organization and of her community to the just cause of Tibet. Being very optimistic, she feels that one day Tibetan people will also get justice.
This demonstration in Marseille was held by the Marseillian TSG Tibet Destination Rangzen which supports Tibetan Independence for more than fifteen years. During all that journey, Tibet Destination Rangzen collected some medical material for the Guchusum to bring help to former political prisoners who are now refugees in exile. This is why we all together remembered the Nangpa-La tragedy : "Remember Nangpa-La ! Never give up Freedom!"
We were very happy to join this global revival of the Tibetan struggle all over the world on this day. We were happy to believe again with all our friends around the world that next time Tibet will restore its sovereignty and its complete independence. We were happy to walk and shout for a Free and Independent Tibet.
By Mathieu Vernerey