Dalai Lama protests
WSS Protest, New York City
Our WSS demonstration in New York City began with our Venerable guests and others distributing booklets and flyers in Time Square, outside NBC TV, FOX News and Reuters. We did not know it then, but the lights, sounds and energy of Times Square would be rivaled by events to come that afternoon.
From 2 -4 pm, the Dalai Lama spoke in Radio City Music Hall, emphasizing religious tolerance and mutual respect once again to his western audience. Outside in the hot sun, we chanted without pause, pleading with him to put these words into practice. Dalai Lama, give religious freedom to Buddhists, too. Those in your homeland are entitled to tolerance, love and respect. Give religious freedom to Shugden practitioners.
As we chanted, crowds of Tibetans began to appear on all sides of our demonstration area. When the talk ended and more arrived, they grew increasingly hostile. Tibetan women in traditional dresses shook their aprons and spat at us. Many snapped deliberate photos of the Tibetans in our group, waved money and threw coins, shouting that we were paid by the Chinese. Angry men threw water bottles, coke, and bags of money. They shouted obscenities in Tibetan and English.
The police responded to protect us with additional officers, horses and barricades. They were forced to brandish their weapons, spray mace, make arrests and drag several Dalai Lama supporters away.
Western Shugden Society practitioners were evacuated on our buses at the request of police, and we left Manhattan with a motorcycle and media escort.
It was very sad to see such animosity and hatred coming from one man’s lies.