Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On Turning 32

I am turning 32 today. And it's hard enough not to feel fortunate to be living in a time when history is being rewritten. But what makes me feel doubly grateful is that Tibetans are at the forefront of this great wave of change, shaping our own future, influencing the course of world history.

In the shadow of the highly publicized Arab Spring, a quieter but equally significant revolution is sweeping Tibet. From Lhasa to Kardze to Chamdo to Ngaba, we are seeing acts of nonviolent resistance multiply across the plateau. Amid China's pitch-black oppression, Tibetans are using the most creative tactics including political protests, economic noncooperation, civil disobedience, cultural revival, and social innovation.

While we have been devastated by this year's string of Tibetan self-immolations, we have also been inspired by the unparalleled courage and sacrifice that motivated these acts. The self-immolations, the protests, the boycotts, the vigils, the direct actions, all reflect a turning point -- Tibetans have conquered fear of the Chinese government, and thus sealed its fate well before its death. As we know all too well from the history of other countries, when the oppressed becomes fearless, the oppressor becomes powerless.

The fate of Tibet is intertwined with that of the world. Freedom for Tibet will promote peace and nonviolence around the world. There is no greater argument for nonviolence than the victory of a nonviolent struggle over the largest dictatorship of the century.

I ask you to grant my wish by donating to Students for a Free Tibet -- the organization that is helping to change the course of Tibetan history with its innovative campaigns, dramatic actions, unstoppable activists, all working toward a common vision. Read some highlights of SFT's achievements in 2011. We are working to mobilize the forces of change for Tibet so that the uprisings we've seen in 2011 become a prelude to the revolutions that may come in 2012.

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