Editor’s Note: This is a speech given by Tang Baiqiao, President of the Democracy Academy of China, at a rally to protest China’s rule in Tibet, which took place in Union Square, in Manhattan, New York City, on June 30.
We are gathered here today to mourn for the Tibetans who have given their lives to the freedom and dignity of Tibet in the past year, and to show them our highest respect. Right now, I am sure all of us feel immense grief and anger in our hearts. However, we must gather up our spirits to fight the brutal suppression by the Chinese Communist regime with our utmost rationality and courage. In the face of the cruel suppression and persecution of Tibetans, we must be united, to counterattack our common enemy.
This is the only way out, the only way we can be free. Today, we are together as one whole. Today, we are all Tibetans!
Since March last year, in just one year’s time, there have been over 40 self-immolations. And those brave Tibetans were so young, so full of vitality. Every time I hear about how they sacrifice their lives in defense of their dignity and the dignity of their people; every time I saw the raging fire over their bodies, I can’t stop crying and my heart breaks.
Every time I think of the endless oppression and abuse suffered by various groups and ethnicities under the Chinese Communist Party, I can’t suppress the intense anger in my heart. I want to fight them [the CCP] to the death. I believe that in China now, thousands upon thousands of people have the same urge as I do. If the Chinese Communist regime thinks that they can keep abusing the people however they want, they are totally wrong! The more evil they do, the closer they are to their grave! Rather than saying that we will one day overthrow them, we should say they are digging their own graves.
History has proven to us repeatedly that “the water that carries the boat can also swallow it.” The brutal and corrupt rule of the Chinese Communist Party is bound to be overwhelmed by the great flood of people striving for freedom. When that day arrives, it will be the moment when mankind enters a new historical era: an era without the CCP regime.
I come here today to express my highest respect to those brave people who, in trying to evoke the world’s attention, lit up the hopes of a people with their own bodies. What a great spirit of sacrifice! They did not do it for their own benefit, but for their people, for the present and future of Tibet! This is such a magnificent feat, fit for an epic elegy! If we just close our eyes, it is not difficult for us to imagine how tragic and painful the scene of the self-immolation must have been. Their bodies are made of flesh and blood, yet their will is stronger than steel! What is courage? Who deserves to be called a hero? These people are the very incarnation of courage! They are the ones who deserve to be called heroes! I do not wish to see these Tibetans harm themselves, but when they have chosen to sacrifice their lives to the cause of their people, and for the sake of their dreams, we can only give them our utmost respect; we can only look up at them!
Every time we hear news about the self-immolations in Tibet, we not only regret the loss of lives, but we are deeply touched by their courage and spirit! I firmly believe that with such fearless youth, the Tibetan people’s culture and spirituality will never perish! As a friend of yours, I feel such a great sense of pride!
Since the Arab Spring began last year, the days have become rough for dictators. Since early this year, uprisings have also erupted everywhere in China—from Wukan to Zhongshan, from Chongqing to Hong Kong, people are fighting for democracy and participating in a great movement against authoritarian rule. Tomorrow, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu Jintao will be confronted with the protests and grievances of a million Hong Kong people. The moment when we change history is right in front of us.
After the struggle of numerous people who held [strong], the dawn of democracy in China is fast approaching. I can already hear the bells of liberty chiming, the smell of freedom already in the air. The day when the tyranny of Chinese Communist rule no longer exists is not far away. Our victory is in sight.
The righteousness of Chinese society is rapidly improving, and step by step, justice is being served. The power of justice is now being assembled so that we can create a formidable force and open fire at the evil! One self-immolating warrior has fallen, but thousands of others will come forward. “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” They are using their actions to put into practice this quote that Americans have been so proud of for more than 200 years.
I have said this in my speeches before: I will not be free until all others are free. Freedom does not fall from the sky; we have to fight for it. Now is the time! At this historical moment that will determine our futures, let us use our greatest passion and courage to dedicate ourselves to the greatest movement in history against tyranny and for freedom. May the heavens bless all Tibetans and all Chinese people to be free soon!
Read the original Chinese article.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.