Beastie Boys’ MCA Speaks Out on the Protests Against China

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MTV News caught up with Adam Yauch — MCA of the Beastie Boys, if you’ve lived under a rock since, like, the beginning of hip-hop — at the Tribeca Film Festival here in NY. He’s debuting his street-basketball documentary “Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot” there, and it’ll soon hit theaters. (More on that later.)

But what we wanted to share with you are his thoughts on the protests by Tibetans in the lead-up to the Olympics this summer in Beijing, China. (30 Tibetans were sentenced to prison today, with some to serve life sentences.) Yauch is a looooongtime supporter of the Tibetan cause — a fight for cultural and religious freedom, and independence from China — and he had plenty to say about the bravery of the Tibetans, and the possibility for change. And in case you haven’t heard the man — a devout Buddhist, a vegan, and a generally righteous guy — talk about the plight of Tibet, he knows of what he speaks. One eloquent and well-informed Beastie he be.

Yauch’s comments after the jump.

“It’s powerful times. I mean, the Tibetans are putting themselves at very serious risk by demonstrating. Many of them have been killed or imprisoned and tortured as a result of it…I just hope that some positive change will come of it. I think they see the Olympics coming up and it’s their one chance to really let the world know about what’s going on there.

“Man, I think the protests should stay non-violent, and I think for the most part the protests are non-violent. I think the Chinese government has chosen to show the couple of violent moments that have happened over and over again — which is very dangerous because it’s creating animosity. I think there are a lot of Chinese people who now feel very angry at the Tibetan people. So I think what really needs to happen is China needs to open up and allow foreign journalists to come in and allow the United Nations to come in and allow it to be resolved like that. I think it’s very scary that China has pushed out all the foreign media.”