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tibet-Germany-2012Berlin: - On June 17 2012, Berlin saw Germany's first and largest skateboard-demonstration. Around 300 skaters jumped on their boards in support of the rights of the Tibetan people.

"With FreeRide Berlin, our intention was to use the passion for our sport to serve a good cause", said Tubbs Oparaugo who initiated the project. "These days young people are far from being apolitical, they just use different and new ways to express themselves".

The organizers said they chose Tibet as this year's cause because the human rights situation there had been deteriorating in recent years.

The Skater-Demonstration's 8-kilometer-long circuit set off at 3pm from Berlin's famous Alexanderplatz and passed by the Brandenburg Gate. Around 5pm, there was a concert with bands and DJ's from Berlin and a Graffiti-Spraying-Action in Alexanderplatz.

"FreeRide Berlin is a great example of how young people continue to fight for the rights of the Tibetan people", said Tsewang Norbu, board-member of Tibet Initiative Germany (TID). "The skaters' commitment is a long-standing tradition with the world-famous Tibetan Freedom Concerts of the 1990s." Back then famous bands and artists had played a huge part in ensuring that commitment for Tibet became a part of popular youth culture.

FreeRide Berlin was founded in 2011 to bring attention to social and political ills. Skateboarding as an expression of freedom and urbanity can become a symbol of support for those whose voices and cultures are being suppressed.

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