It was peaceful, loud and attention-grabbing.
Seven pro-Tibetan activists posed as delegates to a downtown mining convention yesterday morning, then unfurled a six-metre-long red banner that read “HDI — STOP MINING TIBET.”
Some chanted “Tibet is our land” and “stop mining in Tibet,” while two others lay motionless on the floor under the banner, in what they called a “mock die-in” to protest Canadian mining in Tibet.
The protest, which lasted about 10 minutes, took place at a booth run by Hunter Dickinson/Continental Minerals, a Canadian venture into gold and copper mining at the Xietongmen Project in Tibet.
Protesters recorded it with still and video cameras and quickly posted images on the Internet.
Ron Thiessen, chair of Continental Minerals, a partner in the Hunter Dickinson (HDI) project, said he respects the rights of protesters to voice their views.
“We respect everyone’s right to make statements,” Thiessen said.
Thiessen said any future project by his firm would be safely run and up to Canadian standards.
“We’re not mining yet (in Tibet),” Thiessen said. “We hope to be.”
The protest comes amid reports that China has flooded Tibet with tens of thousands of troops in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the failed March 10, 1959, uprising against Chinese military rule.
Protesters charge that Tibetans are unable to freely consent to mining operations.