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Chinese Consulate Removes Controversial Tibet Exhibit From Queens Library

Photo: Students for a Free Tibet protest exhibit outside Elmhurst Library earlier this month

Feb. 24, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

The Queens Public Library announced Friday that it is no longer displaying a controversial exhibition about the life and customs of Tibet at its Elmhurst branch.

The library said that the Chinese Consulate and its affiliate that put together the exhibit, titled Everyday Life in Tibet, made the decision to discontinue it. The exhibit was removed Saturday.

Various Tibetan groups had been calling for the display to be shut down saying that it painted an unrealistic picture of life in the country and referred to it as propaganda.

More than 150 people protested the exhibit outside the Elmhurst library earlier this month and an online petition demanding its closure had garnered more than 4,600 signatures.

China invaded Tibet in 1950 and has occupied the independent nation since. Queens is home to the largest Tibetan diaspora community outside of Asia

The display, protesters said, whitewashed China’s human rights abuses and depicts Tibet as a place where freedom of religion and language rights are respected.

The exhibit contained photographs of cultural events, various landmarks, and of children writing in Tibetan. It had been on display at the library since Feb. 3 and was scheduled to travel through several Queens Public Libraries until June but this has now been cancelled.

Students for a Free Tibet, a group that advocates for Tibet’s political freedom and spearheaded the campaign for the exhibit’s removal, said that the announcement was a huge victory for Tibet and the Tibetan community in Queens.

“The decision of the Chinese Consulate to shut down their propaganda exhibition at the Queens Library shows that activism and truth are more powerful than propaganda and dictatorship,” said SFT Executive Director Dorjee Tseten.

“This is also a lesson for other institutions to be careful of similar propaganda efforts by the Chinese government. We must continue to hold libraries, universities, and all academic institutions accountable for sharing accurate information,” he said.

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At the DeBlasio town hall on Forest Hills the other night a constituent brought up this issue. DeBlasio told one of his staff get on it right away. Guess it worked!

Taylor Shoreden

Hi Michael,

Thank you for putting out about this in the English language media. It is a lovely story, an uplifting chronicle about human rights defender/activists actually winning something. Have you looked into why Queens library allowed the exhibition in the first place? Or why they refused to remove the Chinese consulate exhibition until last Saturday? Who are the staffs who made those decisions and why? What are their dealings or relations with anything connected to China now or in the last few years, or what education or morality they lacked to allow Chinese repression propaganda on US soil, for god sakes! Such information can enlighten US staffs/officials/citizens from getting used by China in future… getting used by China at the price of US’ own deterioration of human rights standard.

Trump defended President Xi

He said he was “a friend” that Trump has “a lot of respect for.”

So either you’re completely wrong, or Trump is magically a Democrat (again).


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