(TibetanReview.net, Mar19’21) – Following a series of weekend protests, the Tufts University in the US state of Massachusetts has decided to close its controversial Confucius Institute, reported the thesomervilletimes.com Mar 18, citing a press release from the Students for a Free Tibet (SFT).
The protests were carried out by members of the Tibetan, Uyghur, Hongkonger, Taiwanese and Chinese communities, together with Tufts students, alumni and faculty.
The university’s decision has come after activists held their 13th weekly “Solidarity Saturday” protest outside the Tufts Confucius Institute and the home of Tufts President Anthony Monaco. At that time, they were joined for the first time by city and state elected officials, including Somerville School Committee Ward 3 Representative, Sarah Phillips, Somerville City Council Member for Ward 3, Ben Ewen-Campen, Somerville City Council Member-at-large, Will Mbah, and State Representative Erika Uyterhoeven.
SFT said over 600 letters in support of the campaign were sent to President Monaco and four elected officials, including the offices of Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn, US Congresswoman Katherine Clark, and US Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.
President Monaco had yet to respond to the activists’ letters when the announcement of the intended closure was made on Mar 18, the group has said.
“A final ‘Solidarity Saturday’ to celebrate our hard-fought victory on April 3rd from 1:00-2:30 pm outside the Confucius Institute building” on Apr 2, the group has said.
The weekly protests at Tufts University were jointly organized by Students for a Free Tibet Boston, the Tibetan Association of Boston, the Boston Uyghur Association, Hong Kong Social Action Movements Boston, and the Formosan Association for Public Affairs MA.
Confucius Institutes are operated at schools and universities under the authority, control and funding of the government of China with an overseas propaganda agenda.
So far around 40 Confucius Institutes around the US have been shut down but about 80 are still operating, noted the thesomervilletimes.com Mar 17.