Using a series of iconic theatre acts, demonstrators gathered outside 10 Downing Street to produce a powerful message with the symbolism of Tibetans being supressed by Chinese authorities. Ten demonstrators dressed with banners and robes stood as the icons of the 10 self-immolated Tibetans calling for freedom from their homeland. Simultaneously, demonstrators dressed as Chinese security forces acted out a sequence of beating and oppression in front of the crowd of spectators.
Outlines of chalked Tibetans, part of the ‘Chalk Tibet Movement', a movement that has been sweeping the streets of Europe and America lately, lay graphically below the demonstrators as cold reminders of the self-immolated Tibetans who have either died as a result of their immolation or been reported ‘missing' by Chinese authorities (as of November 2nd).
Following the demonstration outside Downing Street, a number of demonstrator and activists took to the busy streets to create more ‘chalk Tibet' outlines throughout the city. The National Gallery and Piccadilly Circus were among a number of locations that witnessed the head-turning phenomenon, and lines of ten chalked bodies were etched in lines across the streets leading to the Chinese Embassy.
The busy, tourist filled Piccadilly Circus witnessed a number of thought provoking questions from the public, and many stopped, stared and drew in for a closer look at the names of the ten brave individuals who gave immolated for their cause.
The Global Day of Action statement from Stand up for Tibet highlighted the need for action:
"Ten young Tibetans have set fire to themselves in eastern Tibet since March 2011; eight since 26 September. At least five have died including a nun. These unprecedented and truly desperate acts are a cry to the outside world for help.
"The international community, both citizens and governments, must Stand Up for Tibet. Global diplomatic intervention now will save Tibetan lives".
At around 5.30pm, the street outside London's Chinese embassy began to fill with raucous noise, and an ocean of Tibetan flags were unfurled to the melodic chanting of peaceful Tibetan demonstrators.
Another powerful re-enactment of the suppression theatre act was played out before the defiant crowds, which numbered at least one hundred, and as the British weather finally unleashed the heavens on the crowd, which numbered at least one-hundred, one demonstrator remarked:
"Today has been really effective for Tibetans. We are getting our voices heard around the world at this important time. People today in the streets were stopping. Looking. It is become very effective".