Dalai Lama protesters take to New York City Streets
by Carol Thompson
Protesters have converged on the streets of New York City for the visit of Dalai Lama to the Beacon Theatre. The protesters, organized by the International Shugden Community (ISC), allege religious discrimination and human rights abuse.
The group staged demonstrations earlier this week during the 79-year-old spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism’s visit to Birmingham, AL and Princeton, NJ.
The protesters claim the Dalai Lama publicly banned a 400-year-old mainstream religious tradition of making prayers to the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden. They say he is responsible for an aggressive persecution campaign affecting millions of people worldwide, resulting in suffering and human rights abuses, including the practice of segregation.
The Shugdens consider themselves protectors of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism headed by the Dalai Lama. The International Shugden Community is an association of global Dorje Shugden practitioners and has had previous demonstrations at the Dalai Lama’s talks in North America, Europe and Asia.
One New York City resident said within the past half-hour the demonstrators have become quite loud. Three police officers are standing in front of the Beacon, located at 7th and Broadway.
The protests in the city began yesterday and continue through today. Dalai Lama made appearances at the Beacon yesterday at 9:30am and 2 pm and today at 9:30 am, His last appearance is at 2 pm today.