Sunday, Feb. 6, 12-2 p.m. outside the BPL, #NoBeijing2022
Boston is my home. In 2004, I arrived at Logan Airport as a stateless seven-year-old with my entire life in a suitcase. This city welcomed me with open arms. But the truth is, although my family and I have found a new home for ourselves, I am still not able to visit my homeland of Tibet. My father is not able to return to the home he fled from decades ago.
I ride the T to the Boston Common, cool off at J.P. Licks during the summers, I even skipped school to attend all the Super Bowl parades and Boston Marathons. I am proud to be from a city that has consistently shown me the importance of inclusivity, community, and solidarity. The values and lessons I learned growing up as a Bostonian have also propelled me to use my voice to stand up for what I believe in. I am proud to be Tibetan, a people whose will is synonymous with resilience. A people who have survived the cruel and violent onslaught of attacks against our basic human rights by the Chinese government.
When the Boston community comes together, our ability to make change is truly awe-inspiring. We are home to a vibrant and growing community of Tibetans, Hong Kongers, Uyghurs, Taiwanese pro-democracy activists and freedom-loving people. Last year, we mobilized a campaign to shut down the Tufts University Confucius Institute–an arm of the Chinese government–through 13 weeks of non-stop protest and advocacy. In 2008, when China hosted the Summer Olympics despite committing cultural genocide inside Tibet, hundreds of Bostonians hit the streets to protest. Even though the 2008 Olympics went ahead in China, history will remember the people of Boston stood up for human rights and freedom.
This year, in spite of the fact that the Chinese government’s repression in Tibet and all its occupied countries and territories has escalated dramatically since 2008, Beijing will become the first city to have the honor of hosting both the Summer and Winter Games. There are now an estimated one million Tibetan children in Tibet as young as four years old currently being ripped apart from their parents and enrolled in residential boarding schools where they are forced to learn Chinese, in an attempt to wipe out Tibetan culture and identity. There are at least one million Uyghurs being subjected to forced sterilization and mass internment. There is no press freedom in Hong Kong and since 2019, over 10,000 Hong Kongers have been jailed for their political activism and advocacy, countless more have fled into exile. Language rights in Southern Mongolia are being eradicated, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is increasingly using military tactics to intimidate Taiwan. For all these reasons and more, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will go down in history as the “Genocide Games,” the same way we remember the 1936 Berlin Olympics as the “Nazi Games”.
Bostonians are well-aware of the power of sports to sway public consciousness and unite communities. Most recently we saw the Boston Celtics center, Enes Freedom, stand up against the crimes against humanity being committed by the CCP. Enes Freedom and Chinese Tennis player Peng Shuai, who was recently disappeared by the CCP for charging a senior Chinese leader with sexual assault, both understand the power of their platforms and their personal responsibility to use that platform to effect change in a meaningful way.
Now, with less than a week to go until the Opening Ceremony of Beijing 2022, we need you to understand that you have the power to make a difference too. Join our “No Beijing 2022” campaign to let the Chinese government know that the international community will not stand idly by as it commits genocide and human rights atrocities on a mass scale. Let’s show the world, once again, that Boston stands for human rights. That Boston stands for freedom for all. And most importantly, that Boston stands up and speaks out when human rights are being abused and undermined. Join us this Sunday for our rally against Beijing 2022.
Sunday, Feb. 6, 12- 2 p.m.
Outisde Boston Public Library at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth Sts. in Copley Square
An earlier version of this article called the protest for Jan. 30, but it has been postponed due to a blizzard.