Yesterday, Tibetan rights groups held a protest at Alameda City Hall, forcing the cancellation of a planned ceremony to recognize the People's Republic of China national holiday, National Day. After the event was cancelled, protesters held a candle light vigil on City Hall grounds.
They were most aggrieved at the prospect of a planned raising of the Chinese flag, and began a campaign against the City of Alameda in September to insist the flag not be raised.
Members of Tibetruth, a “not-for-profit network of individuals who support justice, human rights and independence for the peoples of Tibet and East Turkestan” and Bay Area Friends of Tibet organized the campaign and protest through e-mail and social media.
Protest organizers say that China has illegally occupied Tibet since 1950 and that over one million Tibetans have died as a result, and that raising the Chinese flag would endorse "China's dark human rights record."
The City of Alameda insisted it was not the official sponsor of the event, but there are close ties between city officials and the organizing committees, by way of Alameda Councilmember Stewart Chen and Alameda Social Services and Human Relations Board member Michael Robles-Wong.
A protester and witness to the daytime demonstration said that City of Alameda Recreation and Park Department staff provided chairs for event attendees, although this has not yet been confirmed with Alameda officials.
As of 7:00 p.m., roughly a dozen protesters remained to maintain a candle light vigil in honor of those that organizers said had died resisting the Chinese flag.