The protesters, who wore traditional garb and waved Tibet's flag, gathered in a group of around 100 in Samuel Gompers Square, a mere walk from the Washington convention center where US president Barack Obama and 46 other world leaders were participating in a 2-day summit on nuclear security.
The Falun Gong practitioners added their silent support by meditating peacefully alongside the vocal Tibetan protesters. Also present in Samuel Gompers square was around a dozen Asian men, who were carrying Chinese and American flags in support of Hu's visit.
The nuclear summit's primary aim is to discuss how best to keep loose nuclear material secure, in order to prevent it from coming into the possession of extremists. However, the Tibetans did not feel that China's participation in the summit would have a positive result. Said protester Migmar Wanggi, "World leaders should be careful of what Hu Jintao says. There are a lot of things about him that we, and world leaders, don't see."
Trying to put the matter in perspective, Tenzin Dolkar of Students for a Free Tibet said, "We want to ask Obama to pressure Hu to free Tibet because if the goal of this nuclear summit is to find global security, then having Tibet as an independent nation acting as a buffer zone between two nuclear nations would be the solution."
Another activist, Wangchuk Shakabpa of the US Tibet Committee said, "China will never admit to having nuclear weapons on the Tibetan plateau, but we suspect they do, and US intelligence reports have said the Chinese have used Tibet as a dumping ground for nuclear waste."