The red and yellow lights shone from the top of the Empire State Building beginning at 8PM on Wednesday is supposed to be a tribute to communist China's 60th anniversary, but "Friends of Tibet" protesters labeled it "blatant approval" of totalitarianism and criticized it as inappropriate for a symbol in the land of people who are free.
"What did they do, purchase it too?" asked one young lady. "This is ridiculous. Sixty years of beatings and killing innocent people and WE salute them. That's a crock of shit!"
The building has always been lit up with different colors to mark holidays and special events, but opponents, several of them Chinese from Tiawan, questioned whether it's right to commemorate a special event of 60 years of communism especially when China has such a poor human rights record.
"I don't recall us ever lighting it up for Fidel Castro's Cuba", stated another protester.
Several supporters of Tibet, which China has ruled since shortly after communists took over in 1949, protested outside the building during a ceremonial lighting of a scale model inside the lobby. They chanted "No to China's empire; free Tibet now," and held signs reading, "Empire State Building celebrating 60 years of China's oppression", according to the New York Times.
The Dalai Lama is rumored to hold a press conference early next week and he is being encouraged by students to include the lighting of the former tallest building in the world in honor of the country from which he had to escape.
"Instead of a building, I wish we could light up a huge cherry bomb under their nuts!", stated one Chinese lady.