The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Belgium (RTYC Belgium) had planned a peaceful Tibet demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy in Brussels on Saturday 21st January 2012, for the ongoing atrocities in Tibet, the recent self immolations and the brutal crack down by the Chinese, and shooting of innocent kids, women and monks.
The reason to demonstrate that day was of course the upcoming Chinese New Year and its celebrations.
Although the police gave a positive recommendation to the Mayor of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre who is also the head of the police, the permission to demonstrate was denied, as there was a celebration of the Chinese New Year with diplomats in the Chinese embassy that day. The area around the Chinese embassy in Brussels was totally closed and a lot of policemen kept an eye on the neighbourhood.
The embassy is located in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, a part of Brussels. Mr. Willem Draps, the Mayor of that city, is supportive for Tibet and the non violent and peaceful struggle of the Tibetan people. Each year he raises the Tibetan flag at the City Hall on March 10, and when he became Mayor, he established a “Tibet Square” (“Rond-Point du Tibet” in French or “Tibet Rondpunt” in Dutch) in his city. It was very exceptional that a request for a peaceful Tibet demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy was refused, but this was because of national and diplomatic interests between Belgium and China.
On Saturday afternoon 21st January, Tibetans showed up near the Chinese embassy, but the police could not allow them to demonstrate. The Mayor of the city was willing to have a talk with a delegation of the organisers of the protest. Seven board members of the RTYC Belgium and the Belgian Tibet supporter Dennis Barbion had a meeting with Mr. Draps, who really regret that he could not give persmission to protest near the Chinese embassy that day. He understood the terrible situation in Tibet very well, the repression of the Tibetans by the Chinese and the human rights violations, and therefore he suggested the delegation to do a march from the Chinese embassy to the Tibet Square and to protest there, so at a very symbolic place.
When the delegation was back at the Chinese embassy, the group did a Tibet march from the embassy to the Tibet Square.85 people in total participated in the peaceful demonstration, of which about 7 westerners who showed their support for the Tibetan people. At the Tibet Square in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre the group protested about 45 minutes.
Press Release by Dennis Barbion. Dennis is a Tibet supporter, based in Belgium.
Filed under: Uncategorized