An amazing human being.
Tensions were running high on Monday at besieged Kirti monastery, where Chinese security forces are enforcing a lockdown in an attempt to get hundreds of monks to move out.The siege of the monastery, which is home to some 2,500 Tibetan monks, was sparked by the death of a monk last month in a self-immolation protest against Beijing’s rule.”If any of the monks leave, they will be detained and returned [to the monastery],” said a Tibetan resident of Ngaba, who asked to remain anonymous.”There were [some detained],” he added. “If any of those monks come out without an identity card, they get taken away.”
“They want to take those monks away somewhere and have them study, but their relatives don’t want them to go,” he said.
He said monks inside Kirti were still very short of food.
Strong police presence
A number of monks had left the monastery by disguising themselves as ethnic Han Chinese, though some were discovered and detained by local police, the Tibetan resident said.
“They are being taken to a local jail, where they check to see if they had anything [to do with the protests],” he said. “They lock them up for many days.”
A second Tibetan resident confirmed there was still a strong police presence around the town and monastery.
“Yes, [they are still surrounding it],” he said. “There are dozens of police on each street.”
A Tibetan named Tsering living in exile in Dharamsala said nearly 800 government employees were involved in the campaign.
“The monks were forced stand alone in the middle of the group and subjected to grueling interrogation sessions,” he said.
Previous campaigns have required participants to denounce the Dalai Lama and pledge allegiance to China’s ruling Communist Party.
Exile Tibetans with links to Kirti said local officials had visited the monastery and warned monks that they could face closure or destruction of the monastery.
Monks are currently being confined to their dormitories after 8 p.m., with beatings for any found breaking the curfew, the paper said.
Around 300 local people had signed a petition vowing to protect the monks with their lives, with officials intervening to stop the signing process because of gathering crowds lining up to sign.
They’re profound thinkers who spoke powerful words. But they also lived their lives as an example, putting these words into action every day. From Africa to the Americas, here are quotes from 20 famous–and not so famous–people, living and dead, who spent their lives thinking about and contributing to social justice movements.
1. “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” -Audre Lorde
2. “We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose.” -Archbishop Desmond Tutu
3. “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Photo: Sepperer Markus
4. “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”- Paulo Freire
5. “People must take a modicum of public responsibility for each other even if they have no ties to each other.” -Jane Jacobs
6. “We have a world to conquer…one person at a time…starting with ourselves.” -Nikki Giovanni
7. “We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
8. “It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act.”- His Holiness The Dalai Lama
9. “The people are the only ones capable of transforming society.”- Rigoberta Menchu
10. “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.”- Jean Paul Richter
11. “There will be no Homeland Security until we realize that the entire planet is our homeland. Every sentient being in the world must feel secure.” -John Perkins
12. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” -Helen Keller
13. “Take your easy tears somewhere else. Tell yourself none of this ever had to happen. And then go make it stop. With whatever breath you have left. Grief is a sword or it is nothing.” -Paul Monette
14. “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.” -Reinhold Neibuhr
15. “During times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” -George Orwell
16. “To be human, at the most profound level, is to encounter honestly the inescapable circumstances that constrain us, yet muster the courage to struggle compassionately for our own unique individualities and for more democratic and free societies.” -Cornel West
Photo: Amor Ministries
17.”If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin with the empowering of the most powerless. You build from the ground up.” -Adrienne Rich
18. “Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two.” -Octavio Paz
19. “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” -Elie Wiesel
20. “The more you move, the stronger you’ll grow….” -Ha Jin