|Dear friends, |
After decades of repression under Chinese rule, the Tibetan people's frustrations have burst onto the streets in protests and riots. With the spotlight of the upcoming Olympic Games now on China, Tibetans are crying out to the world for change.
The Chinese government has said that the protesters who have not yet surrendered "will be punished". Its leaders are right now considering a crucial choice between escalating brutality or dialogue that could determine the future of Tibet, and China.
We can affect this historic choice--China does care about its international reputation. China's President Hu Jintao needs to hear that the 'Made in China' brand and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing can succeed only if he makes the right choice. But it will take an avalanche of global people power to get his attention--and we need it in the next 48 hours.
The Tibetan Nobel peace prize winner and spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama has called for restraint and dialogue: he needs the world's people to support him. Click below now to sign the petition--and tell absolutely everyone you can right away--our goal is 1 million voices united for Tibet:
China's economy is totally dependent on "Made in China" exports that we all buy, and the government is keen to make the Olympics in Beijing this summer a celebration of a new China, respected as a leading world power. China is also a very diverse country with a brutal past and has reason to be concerned about its stability -- some of Tibet's rioters killed innocent people. But President Hu must recognize that the greatest danger to Chinese stability and development comes from hardliners who advocate escalating repression, not from Tibetans who seek dialogue and reform.
We will deliver our petition directly to Chinese officials in London, New York, and Beijing, but it must be a massive number before we deliver the petition. Please forward this to your address book with a note explaining to your friends why this is important, or use our tell-a-friend tool to email your address book--it will come up after you sign the petition.
The Tibetan people have suffered quietly for decades. It is finally their moment to speak--we must help them be heard.
With hope and respect,
Ricken, Iain, Graziela, Paul, Galit, Pascal, Milena, Ben and the whole Avaaz team
PS - It has been suggested that the Chinese government may block the Avaaz website as a result of this email, and thousands of Avaaz members in China will no longer be able to participate in our community. A poll of Avaaz members over the weekend showed that over 80% of us believed it was still important to act on Tibet despite this terrible potential loss to our community, if we thought we could make a difference. If we are blocked, Avaaz will help maintain the campaign for internet freedom for all Chinese people, so that our members in China can one day rejoin our community.
Here are some links with more information on the Tibetan protests and the Chinese response:
BBC News: UN Calls for Restraint in Tibet
Human Rights Watch: China Restrain from Violently Attacking Protesters
Associated Press: Tibet Unrest Sparks Global Reaction
New York Times: China Takes Steps to Thwart Reporting on Tibet Protests
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.
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