Stone thrown as Tibetans rally in Chicago

March 19th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 19 (IANS) Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of Chicago protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet, but the rally ended in a violent incident when it concluded at the Chinese consulate. As the mainly Tibetan-American protesters pointed and shouted at the consulate building Tuesday, somebody threw a stone breaking a window of the building and some others started a small fire in a metal trash can.

There were no immediate arrests, but the incident prompted police to move in on horseback and monitor the crowd more closely, Chicago Tribune reported.

Many of the marchers were decked out in the colours of the Tibetan flag - which is outlawed in China - even as they shouted “Free Tibet”, demanding that China relinquish the control it has had over Tibet since 1950.

The group “Tibetans in the Midwest” issued fliers at the rally calling on the US and the United Nations to pressure China to immediately withdraw all troops from Lhasa, lift “virtual martial law” throughout Tibet and release all political prisoners.

The US has so far asked Beijing to review its Tibet policies, hold a dialogue with the Dalai Lama and exercise restraint in dealing with Tibetan protesters in Lhasa.

At the Chicago rally, one protester, Tenzin Palkyi, a student at the University of Minnesota, carried a sign with gruesome pictures of Tibetans she said had been murdered by the Chinese government because of their opposition to Chinese rule.

Dawa Phuntsok of Wisconsin said he was marching to bring world attention to the crisis.

“We are doing here what they can’t do (in Tibet),” Phuntsok said.

There were demonstrations last week in Chicago, New York and Washington in solidarity with the protesters in Tibet.

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