Last week, at the request of Commissioner Leonard, Mayor Adams proclaimed March 10, 2010 "Tibet Awareness Day" in commemoration of nearly 1.2 million Tibetans who have lost their lives in their struggle for religious and political freedom in Tibet.
The proclamation has drawn the attention and vigorous disapproval of the Chinese Central Government, who sent the Chinese Consulate General from San Francisco to Portland to request that Commissioner Leonard and the Mayor rescind the proclamation, cancel the scheduled Tibet celebration scheduled on March 10, and make a statement of support for China commensurate with the City's stated support for Tibet.
Approximately 100 members of Portland's Tibetan community gathered peacefully outside of City Hall as the Chinese Consulate met with City officials. While greeting the Tibetan gathering, Commissioner Leonard was asked by a reporter if he was concerned that the proclamation in support of Tibet would damage Portland's economic relationship with China. In response, Randy said, "We should not have to sacrifice our principals of free speech and religion to do business with China."