On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic Committee issued an ominous threat:
"The command centre has given its order for the final assault tomorrow."
He was referring to the Chinese climbing team that took the Olympic torch to the summit of Mt. Everest late yesterday.
But never before has the mountaineering term 'assault' been used more appropriately.
China's assault on Mount Everest - sacred Mount Chomolungma to Tibetans - is in fact an assault on Tibet and the Tibetan people, not to mention the Olympic ideals.
After an Olympic torch relay that has already been met with free Tibet protests and heavy-handed security everywhere it's gone, China's ascent of the Everest summit with the torch is a transparent attempt to underscore its claims to Tibet.
Desperate to ensure a successful propaganda exercise, the Chinese team staged its assault on the sacred peak, surrounded by armed police and amidst threats by Nepal to shoot anyone who might protest on its side of the mountain!
Because of China's intense secrecy, we learned of its "final assault" on Everest just hours before the team summited with the torch. Nonetheless, Tibetans and supporters immediately began planning protest vigils to mourn those Tibetans killed in the recent crackdown while the Chinese government celebrates its hollow victory.
Please join a vigil today - CLICK HERE to see if there is a gathering planned for your area, or if there is an organizer who can help you get involved.
If there is no vigil planned for your area, please consider organizing one. Gather some friends or family. Even a vigil of one in a busy place in your community is an inspiring act of solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet.
Don't forget, the Tibet movement beat their tainted torch to Everest by more than a year when SFT's Tenzin Dorjee and several courageous supporterslit the Tibetan Freedom Torch at Everest base camp in April 2007. And the fire of Tibetan freedom is still raging in the hearts of Tibetans and their supporters everywhere. Together, we'll show the world that the Chinese government's propaganda victory on Everest is as hollow as its rule in Tibet, which depends on brutal repression of millions of Tibetans whose desire for freedom cannot be extinguished.
ATC would like to thank all of our members and supporters who are standing up for Tibet in unprecedented numbers at this crucial time. You can show your support in many ways - from getting to a rally or vigil, wearing your Free Tibet t-shirt, writing to your local politicians or simply asking your friends to have a look at www.atc.org.au
Here is some of the latest news ...
Our Man In Beijing ... & The Prime Minister
Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has spoken up about Tibet during his visit to China. An ATC representative is in Beijing to brief media and ensure that Tibet remains high on the agenda. Visit www.atc.org.au to read his daily reports and video blogs.
Tutu Inspires In San Francisco
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has brought the house down with an inspirational speech in support of Tibet, the Dalai Lama and human rights. Visit www.atc.org.au to view the YouTube footage.
Olympic Torch Farce
A last minute change to the torch route has reduced the San Francisco leg of the Olympic torch relay to a game of hide and seek. Visit www.atc.org.au to read more.
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