The Tibet Action Institute has officially launched as a special project of Students for a Free Tibet, on whose Board of Directors I serve. From the email announcing Tibet Action:
From Tunisia to Egypt, Yemen to Bahrain, the past six weeks have shown the tremendous power of strategic nonviolent resistance – particularly when combined with new online technologies – to change authoritarian governments and bring an end to repression. This is a remarkable moment to be able to announce the launch of the Tibet Action Institute (https://tibetaction.net) – a special project of Students for a Free Tibet that provides open-source technology, training and strategy to Tibetans to help advance our nonviolent struggle for freedom.
Since stepping down as Students for a Free Tibet’s Executive Director in 2009, I have been spearheading the formation of the Tibet Action Institute, along with Nathan Freitas, SFT’s chief technologist during the 2008 Olympics campaign and a remarkable technology innovator, and more recently, Freya Putt, former campaigns director of SFT and former Olympics campaign coordinator for the International Tibet Support Network.
The 2008 Tibetan Uprising showed us all the incredible power Tibetans can have when we utilize the Internet, mobile and other new technologies in our freedom struggle. At the same time, we have seen the painful consequences these same tools can have for the Tibetans inside Tibet who dare to use them.
The Tibet Action Institute trains Tibetans everywhere in how to use information and communication technologies to be more safe, secure, and effective. We also offer training in the art and methods of nonviolent resistance in order to employ effective strategies, campaigns, and innovative technologies to overcome occupation and oppression.
The Tibet Action website with multi-lingual training videos, tech security tips, and the best of strategic nonviolence literature – including the guides that played an instrumental role in Egypt and Tunisia – is live now:
You can also learn about efforts like the Guardian Project, which provides mobile phone technology to help activists communicate more safely and securely, and the Tibet Crisis Map, a crowd-sourced map of the true geography of Tibet. More content will be coming soon.
Our small team, along with SFT’s board and staff, is continually inspired and motivated by the courageous acts of resistance occurring daily inside Tibet, and – against a backdrop of global revolution and successful grassroots people’s movements – we are thinking big for Tibet.
We know it’s not a matter of if, but rather a question of when and how change will come to Tibet. We want to make sure our movement is ready.
The Tibet Action Institute envisions a world where Tibetans inside Tibet are engaging in powerful noncooperation and civil resistance campaigns and employing simple and creative technologies in bringing about an end to China’s occupation. We look forward to working with you, and supporters everywhere, to make that vision a reality.
Director, Tibet Action Institute