Beastie Boy Adam Yauch spoke of the power of non-violent protest at a rally for
Tibetan Freedom in front of the United Nations building on Monday (March 10).
The rapper, joined by several hundred in Ralph Bunche Park at the gathering
commemorating Tibetan Uprising Day, told the crowd about the power of
non-violence as a viable solution and as an appropriate response to violence,
according to a source on the scene.
Yauch, who spoke for five minutes,
also told the young crowd that they shouldn't be discouraged by the difficulty
of the task at hand, or to lapse into cynicism, because it is possible for
people to make a difference and affect change.
Other speakers at the rally
included Professor Robert Thurman, who spoke about political issues related to
China and Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta, who spoke about the people of East
Timor and their struggle for freedom and about universal responsibility.
The rally lasted two hours, after which the 500 protesters marched to the
Chinese Mission to the U.N. at 66th and Broadway and engaged in an act of civil
disobedience. According to the source, a large group of protesters laid down in
the middle of the street in front of the mission draped in Tibetan flags as a
sign of non-violent protest of China's occupation of Tibet.
All but 16 of
the protesters got up when threatened with arrest by the New York City Police
Department. The remaining dozen-plus were then arrested, booked and released.