Chinese President Xi JinPing welcomed to Seattle by four separate protest groups

As Xi JinPing, the current president of China, met with Washington governor Jay Inslee and Seattle mayor Ed Murray at the Westin hotel in downtown Seattle, several protest groups gathered nearby to demonstrate against a wide variety of alleged human rights violations.

A protest group consisting of Tibetan-Americans from Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland gathered at Westlake Park to demonstrate against alleged human rights abuses beginning with the overthrow of the Tibetan government in Lhasa in 1959 by the Peoples Republic of China. Demonstrators are protesting for religious freedom, freedom of speech and media, a release of political prisoners, and the right to preserve their cultural traditions.

Additional protest groups included a group centered around democracy in China, a group fighting for an independent Taiwan, and practitioners of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong), a religious practice currently banned in China. A smaller contingent of demonstrators were interspersed along 5th avenue to welcome the Chinese president with flags of the United States and China.

At approximately 4:30pm, demonstrators marched from Westlake Park, down 5th avenue to Olive Way, where they were stopped by multiple lines of police, securing the block around the Westin hotel. The demonstrators were flanked by Seattle police on both sides but no arrests were made.

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