The Olympic Torch is due in San Francisco tomorrow. During the European leg of the torch’s world tour, events were disrupted by protestors demonstrating against China’s rule over Tibet. Now it’s the turn of the Tibetan community in the Bay Area.
For days and weeks, dozens of young Tibetans and their families have prepared for this week’s Olympic protests throughhours-long meetings, training sessions, e-mails and prayer. They have also used technology to call upon thousands of peers — from as far as Minnesota, Connecticut, Utah and Canada — to travel to San Francisco as China’s Olympic torch passes through on Wednesday.
Dateline editor Clifton Parker interviewed student activist Tenzin Youdon, as well as history professor Don Price and psychologist Phil Shaver last week. Shaver met the Dalai Lama in 2004 at a meeting of Western scientists studying the mind and Buddhist monks, held at the Tibetan compound in Dharamsala, India.
Some local Tibetans fled the country recently; others have grown up in exile. UC Davis graduate Nyendak Wangden, for example, grew up in India before moving to the U.S..
Wangden feels both removed and connected to Tibet’s problems, and her devotion to the issues has grown with age, she said. As a student of Albany High School several years ago, she helped start a Tibetan culture club.
Now, the aspiring neurobiologist and graduate of the University of California, Davis, is involved with the activist group Students for a Free Tibet.
“Every Tibetan is an ambassador of Tibet,” Wangden said. “We have to be well-informed.”
Youdon was also quoted in coverage by the Sacramento Bee.