Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Standing for Human Rights in Tibet, Darfur and around the world

This week many in San Francisco are coming together to stand in solidarity with those who have suffered due to the policies of the Chinese government. As the Olympic Torch passes through the area, Bay Area residents are seeking to shine a light on human rights abuses in Tibet and China's support for the Sudanese government. Please read Episcopal Bishop of California, Marc Andrus' profound message about these and other demonstrations. This evening, Matt and I will be attending a peaceful candlelight vigil for Tibet with Desmond Tutu and Richard Gere at the United Nations Plaza at Civic Center, and tomorrow Darfur activists including a number of us from Grace Cathedral will be along the torch relay route.

As an undergraduate I had the opportunity to live and study among the Tibetan people both in exile and in Tibet itself. I met numerous people whose stories of struggle, pain, and hope still haunt and inspire me. Their collective struggle for freedom deserves our support. Activists and people of faith have been coming together for years seeking to draw attention to the genocide in Darfur. This week, we'll tell China to stop selling weapons to the Sudanese government.

This evening, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will receive an award from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission at Grace Cathedral for his support of human rights for gay and lesbian persons. This week's numerous activities are a reminder to us all that as Martin Luther King Jr. taught, a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, that the struggle for a better world involves standing together in solidarity with all who suffer, and that we must confront abuse, violence, and injustice with nonviolent love.