22 February 2006

 

"Dissident" Prince Charles "boycotted Chinese banquet"

Looks like the king-to-be is one of us! According to Prince Charles' former private secretary, Mark Bolland, Chaz Windsor saw himself "as a 'dissident' working against the prevailing political consensus". In the statements made to the High Court, Bolland confirmed that the prince deliberately boycotted a state banquet with then Chinese president Jiang Zemin because of his support for Tibet. Not only that, but against the wishes of his press people, Charles set about making the reasons for his boycott known.

Bolland is quoted by the BBC as saying that Charles "did not approve of the Chinese regime, and is a great supporter of the Dalai Lama, whom he views as being oppressed by the Chinese."

Once the Queen pops her clogs and Charles takes the throne, he is expected to keep these so-called political views to himself and to be jolly nice to any visiting dictators, just like Her Maj did for Hu Jintao during the state visit in November. He may not be able to speak his mind in the years to come, but Charles has left the world in no doubt as to what he thinks of China's record in Tibet. (photo from BBC)

21 February 2006

 

Tigers skins burn in Tibet

Tibetans have been burning clothing made from endangered animal skins following a request by the Dalai Lama to give up the use of pelts from rare animals. China, which officially opposes the trade of endangered animals, has now banned the burning of skins and arrested paricipants for "colluding with the Dalai Lama".

The story has run in the mainstream press and you can also read about Tibetans in Nepal burning robes at whatabouttibet.com, the excellent website run by Luke at Leeds Uni Tibet Society.

19 February 2006

 

More SFT-Google press coverage

Another mention for SFT's Google campaign, this time in The Observer (and there's a photo of the New York 'break up with Google' action in the print version).

15 February 2006

 

Update on No Luv 4 Google

Here's a great little update on the No Luv 4 Google campaign. As some of you have noticed, there was an article in the Guardian's G2 magazine on the 14th that said "Did you know, for example, some are calling for people to boycott Google today - Valentine's Day?". It seems that SFT's No Luv 4 Google campaign has made it as the Guardian's campaign of the week!

Check out the full article here.

 

Edinburgh breaks up with Google!

Here’s a little bit about our action yesterday, which even got some unexpected political support!

Braving being labelled romance cynics, we stood outside our uni library, home to a large selection of computers, and urged our fellow students to ‘Break up with Google!’. By showing copies of results from buzzwords such as ‘Dalai’ typed into goole.com and google.cn, and by handing out postcards, lists of alternative search engines, and helpful information, we persuaded a good number of people to join the boycott (for that day at least!). Our friendly local green MSP, Mark Ballard (who was only coincidentally canvassing for support in his bid to be elected university rector!), seemed inspired by our work and promptly set about putting forward an EDM (early day motion) through the Scottish parliament in support of the boycott Google campaign, as well as vowing to encourage as many MSPs as possible to give up on Google for the long term. Brilliant!

 

Google: You're Dumped!

This Valentine's Day was also No Luv 4 Google Day and in London we took to the streets to tell Google that it's over.

As well as boycotting all of Google's services over their decision to help the Chinese government censor information on the internet in China and Tibet, dozens of people turned up at Belgrave House, Google's headquarters in London, to tell them we want nothing to do with them.

“Thousands of people are boycotting Google today and protests are taking place in over 16 cities around the world” said Alice Speller, National Coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet UK. “We want Google to end their partnership with the Chinese government and stand on the right side of history” she added.

As we shouted slogans like "Shame on Google" and "Google: you're dumped" we were seen by hundreds of people going to and from Victoria train station, which is just across the road. Passers by were really supportive, taking information and action postcards and even Lib. Dem. MP Martin Horwood turned up to back us.

The fact that Google had told their staff they didn't have to come in to work and had the police put up barriers in front of their building showed they had something to worry about, and with thousands of people from around the world showing their support on www.NoLuv4Google.com they should be scared.

Google shouldn't be condoning or supporting the Chinese government in preventing the spread of democracy and freedom in China by supressing free speech, so dump google and take action.

 

What a conference!

Well, it was exhausting (so exhausting it's taken me a few days to recover and type this post) but the SFT UK/TYUK conference this weekend was fantastic! A big thank you to everyone who came from far and wide to take part and give workshops, especially to Tendor who came over from New York to tell everyone about the work of SFT, give us briefings on current campaigns and run the Tibetan Youth UK leadership training workshop, and all that with jetlag. Also, huge appreciation to Riki Hyde-Chambers of The Tibet Society, Rob and Tom from People and Planet, Tserin Topgyal of LSE and Katie Mallin from Free Tibet Campaign for their valuable training.

Despite the long day of workshops on everything from non-violent direct action tactics to working with your MP and how to run a successful group, everyone was still able to make it to Nelsons Bar for a great party in the evening before crashing out at the Kailash Centre for some well earned sleep.

Sorry I don't have any pictures to put up, but there's a few on the post below and a whole load on the Tibetan Youth UK blog, which I highly recommend everyone has a look at. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did and took away some new skills and inspiration.

12 February 2006

 

first pics from conference 06

Some pics from conference - Tendor explaining direct action to a "reporter", the conference crew and Riki's session on working with your MP.


06 February 2006

 

Countdown to Training Conference 2006

There's less than a week to go to the Students for a Free Tibet / Tibetan Youth UK training conference!

Join us in London on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 February for campaigning skills workshops, inspiring speakers and an exclusive film showing. Register from 8pm on Friday at the Kailash Centre, St John's Wood or between 9 and 10 am at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in Russell Square.

Full conference details here. If you want to register in advance or ask any questions, email us on info[at]sftuk.org

05 February 2006

 

Dancin' and Chillin' at Tibet Blues


On Friday (Feb 3rd) the Bristol University Coalition for Tibet held their Tibet Blues night on the HMS Thekla and it was a fantastic event! With an eclectic mix of music including Blues, Tibetan folk and hiphop, there was something for everyone in a truly unique venue.

First up was Chris Jagger and band who, aside from being a great guitarist and singer, is also an incredibly nice bloke who spent most of the evening wearing an SFT badge on his hat. People danced all through his up-beat tunes and chilled out through the blues, including the song "Lhasa Town".

Next was Tibetan folk singer Loten Namling, who blew everyone away with his powerful voice and beautiful songs. Between each song he made everyone laugh with anecdotes and stories and played instruments including a Tibetan lute (damyin), a conch, a Tibetan long-horn and something that looked like a UFO and sounded a bit like steel drums. He finshed off with a quick tsampa throwing ceremony, covering everyone in barley flour, and over-ran his time, but no one cared as we were all enjoying it too much.

I had a great time at Tibet Blues and if anyone has the chance to see Loten at SOAS on Monday (5pm) I would highly recommend it.

 

SFT Plymouth get off to a running start


A new SFT group has recently been set up at the University of Plymouth by a couple of great Tibet supporters, Mark and Kate. They sent us this report on how they're doing and we thought we'd share it with you.

Just thought I'd send you some (well, a) pic of our fairly successful merchandise sale at Plymouth Uni. We had a really good response from a large number of students, who were all keen to get involved. We were quite surprised about how knowledgeable people were of the situation in Tibet but wanted to know more and had a large number who signed up to join our team. Good News!!!

So onward and upward. Next, we are hoping to plan our grand opening with some form of entertainment. We were fortunate enough to meet a couple of students who were well connected with local bands and DJs, so maybe a benfit gig of some sort. Oh, a tip for anyone holding a similar stall and want to draw people in; nag champa incense sticks!!!!! We had so many people coming over and asking about the smell and were we selling some?!!

Anyway, looking forward to seeing you all at the conference!
Mark.

If you want to send us a report to go up on the blog, send us an email.

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