|Tibetans & SFT shut down Lekchoe's dinner party!|
This evening at 5pm we found out that there was going to be a banquet at 7pm, where Lekchoe and his delegation were to be honored by officials from the Chinese consulate and the organizers of the propaganda exhibit in Cupertino. Originally, this banquet was supposed to be held on May 30th, but no one bothered to tell us until the last minute that the plans had
|been changed...Tibet Justice Center and the Tibetan Association of Northern California had actually purchased 7 tickets for the dinner on the 30th, so we figured we shouldn't waste our tickets, and jumped in the car to drive to the restaurant in San Bruno.
7 Tibetans (with tickets!) tried to get into the banquet, but the Chinese organizer of the propaganda fair recognized them, and tried to stop them from entering the banquet room. She tried to stall them by promising them a one-on-one meeting with Lekchoe if they just sat down in the other room and kept quiet. Of course, we weren't fooled by her. The 7 Tibetans simply rushed into the banquet room, where 50 or so Chinese officials and government and business representatives from the Tibetan Autonomous Region were enjoying their dumplings. The freedom fighters pulled out Tibetan flags and pictures of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and jumped up on the tables screaming "FREE TIBET" and "SHAME ON LEKCHOE, SHAME ON CHINA!" Much chaos ensued. The Chinese officials ran out into the streets as if they were being attacked by wild animals. One of them yelled "You can't just take over our private party!" to which he got the response "Well, you just took over our country!"
After a few minutes the police showed up. By this time, our trouble makers were just arguing with the Chinese officials. When the officers walked up to the restaurant, one of the officials told him to arrest all the Tibetans. He told her calmly "You can place them under citizen's arrest for disrupting the peace, but they can do the same to you, because you are disrupting MY peace!"
The officers then told us that as long as we didn't go back into the restaurant, we could yell as much as we wanted to. The Chinese officials kept bugging the police to have us all arrested, but as one Tibetan pointed out nicely - "This isn't China, were you can just have us dragged away for demonstrating."
Within 15 minutes or so, everyone attending the banquet had fled, leaving behind turned over tables and our small but noisy group yelling "Release the Panchen Lama now!' and "Stop the killings in Tibet."
Lekchoe might think he managed to get away, but we'll see him again tomorrow, when he goes to the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento.
Bod Rangzen! Free Tibet!