Dalai Lama calls to halt violence
The Dalai Lama offered peace as an antidote to violence in a speech commemorating the September 11 attacks at the National Cathedral Thursday.
“It is important not to be depressed, demoralized and paralyzed by the past events, but rather remember the events and try to utilize (them) towards a kind of spiritual opportunity for personal growth and forgiveness,” the Dalai Lama said.
More than 5,000 people lined the streets surrounding the cathedral in the hours before the speech, but many could not get in because it was filled to capacity. Approximately 3,800 were admitted and 1,200 listened from outside, a cathedral official said.
Shrouded in maroon garb with gold lining, the Dalai Lama sat on an altar lined with yellow, red and orange flowers.
The Dalai Lama, whose given name is Tenzin Gyatso, is the political and spiritual leader of the people of Tibet.
In 1959, the Dalai Lama was forced into exile by the communist Chinese government. He now resides in Dharamsala, India, as the exiled leader of the Tibetan government.
The Dalai Lama stressed the need for religious tolerance at a time when some religions around the world are being exploited, particularly Islam.
“Some people get the impression that the Muslim religion is more for the militant, the violent,” he said. “They are really very compassionate persons, very, very gentle, very nice.”
For many who came, the message and presence of the Dalai Lama was an uplifting experience.
“The Dalai Lama is an exemplary human being,” David Crosby, of the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, told The Hatchet. “To see him welcomed and respected, and all the people here – it’s very inspiring.”
– Jerah Cordova
Protesters hold 9/11 vigil at White House
Anti-war protesters held a vigil in front of the White House Thursday to remember the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 and protest President George W. Bush’s war on terror.
The vigil was organized by the D.C. Anti-War Network in response to Bush’s actions since the September 11 attacks.
Demonstrators said the Bush administration used the attacks as an opportunity to repress civil liberties and garner support for the war in Iraq.
The event was rather subdued, with approximately 25 demonstrators attending the rally.
“We should remember 9/11 every day by teaching nonviolence,” demonstrator Paul Collins said.
Despite their vociferous opposition to Bush’s policies, demonstrators still paid tribute to those who perished two years before.
Nader to speak in D.C. Thursday
Ralph Nader, Green Party candidate in the 2000 presidential election, will be the main speaker at a rally on Thursday at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The rally, funded by the non-profit organization Democracy Rising, will advocate local issues such as restoring health care, creating affordable housing and ending the privatization of schools.
In an interview with The Hatchet, Nader deflected questions about a possible 2004 presidential campaign and said he would continue to be an advocate of consumer rights.
The self-described “public citizen” has sponsored consumer initiatives to reform University governance, educational testing and women’s health care.
Joining Nader will be Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and musician Patti Smith. Tickets to the event cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door and are available by calling 319-2422.
“The proceeds go to Democracy Rising, the organization that funds the rallies,” Nader said. “The (money made from) this rally will help fund the next one we have.”