"The unspeakable violations of human rights in Tibet are a civil question first and only second a political question," Alberto points out. (Click to enlarge).
Another 'Maga': Students, famous teachers and friends from the Padua University climbed Monte Verena together for the SadSmokyMountains project in Italy the same day... (click to enlarge).
Aula magna at Padua - a thousand year battle for academic pride and freedom. (Click to enlarge).
How could we resist.
...and lit torches at the Eiffel tower. "This is our message: the civil actions [the art] must inspire the politics; politicians, governments and administrations, schools included," Peruffo says on behalf of the SadSmokyMountains project. (Click to enlarge).
Galileo's Padua took a leading role against the Nazi occupation of 1943-45; and during the SSM 080808 project her students and teachers sent a strong signal to Tibet and for human rights. (Click to enlarge).
New line by Carlos Buhler on Cerro Castillo, in Patagonia. Image sources: SadSmokyMountains, Padua University, ExplorersWeb, Maga Kijak and intotherocks.net (click to enlarge).
That same day, Maga wore this t-shirt to class at Warwick University in UK. She ended up paying the biggest price.
Climbers for human rights: Alberto Peruffo about "the other Maga," Padua University and Paris results

Posted: Oct 30, 2008 07:17 pm EDT
(ExplorersWeb.com) Last week ExWeb wrote about climbing translator Maga Kijak accused of professional misconduct after wearing a Free Tibet T-shirt to class at UK Warwick University.

"I don't think wearing the T-shirt is a political behavior," comments climber Alberto Peruffo, organizer of the global SadSmokyMountains project for human rights.

"It's strictly a civil behaviour," he told ExplorersWeb.

Compassion is not politics

"The unspeakable violations of human rights in Tibet are a civil question first and only second a political question," Alberto points out. "Everyone in free countries must or should speak up about human rights."

Alberto says that Warwick's underlining the political aspect of Maga's t-shirt suggests political and/or economical interests on their own behalf.

Another University - another point of view

"So I'd like to point out a very different and opposite approach by another University, one of the most ancient of the world," Peruffo writes.

"Students, famous teachers and friends from the Padua University climbed Monte Verena together during the SSM 080808 project in order to send a strong signal to Tibet and for human rights."

Check pictures here.

Galileo Galilei's home University

Warwick University was established in 1965 while Padua University was established already during or before 1200 AD.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Warwick had a reputation as a politically radical institution in UK. Over in Italy, Padua was established in a period when a number of professors and students had left the University of Bologna as a result of offences to academic freedom."

Padua University was not founded as the result of a charter granted by pope of emperor, but as a response to the specific social and cultural conditions that created a need for it. Throughout the centuries, the University enjoyed protection by various authorities such as the Venetian Republic guaranteeing full respect for the University's freedoms.

Thanks to this, Padua made its great contribution to the nascent scientific revolution, with developments in philosophical thought, studies of medicine and great discoveries in astronomy, physics and mathematics linked with the eighteen-year period that Galileo Galilei taught at the University.

Academic freedom = great discoveries and civilian courage

Today when US Presidential candidates hope to solve the education crisis by throwing money at the problem; Padua's example of academic pride and freedom warrants a closer look. Signaling lenience towards global abuses of human rights undermines not only students' personal morals but ultimately also their motivation to contribute to their own country.

The political role of Padua University was particularly apparent in the nineteenth century, when its professors and students took part in the local uprising of February 1848 against the Austrian occupation.

In the First World War, Padua would find itself the centre of the zone of operations bordering on the Austrian Front. Just a few decades later, Padua University would live up to its motto by taking a leading role in the struggle against the Nazi occupation of 1943-45; later receiving the Gold Medal for Valour, the only university in Italy to gain such an award.

"Our times are inspired by blind economy"

"This is our message," Alberto writes in his support note for Maga Kijak, "the civil actions [the art] must inspire the politics; politicians, governments and administrations, schools included."

"Our times are inspired by blind economy," Alberto adds, "my compliments therefore go to Maga for her civil courage and my blame goes to the Warwick University for its low political complaisance."

Check out Sadsmokymountains.net with a new cover including Maga, and SSM 080808 final action in Paris (click the images in the 10545 pixel story web page).

Finally, as we are climbers, go to Alberto's rock climbing site intotherocks.net with images from a number of new lines such as one made by his friend Carlos Buhler on Cerro Castillo, in Patagonia.

The Final Ignition of red flares for climber Alberto Peruffo's SadSmokyMountains project was set for the official Olympics kick-off August 8th, 2008, at 1 pm European time.

The ignition happened to take place not only on the Chinese Olympics kick-off, but also on a date that spells out 08/08/08. Number eight is very important to Buddhists. Right Association; Right Knowledge; Right Effort; Right Mindfulness; Right Speech, Right Behavior, Right Absorption and the Right Livelihood are the 8 truths of the Dharma wheel. Together with the Four Noble Truths it constitutes the gist of Buddhism.

Climber/artist Alberto Peruffo and Fattoria Artistica worked very hard with the Sad Smoky mountain project. The project grew into a mega event by May 11 - the first ignition phase - with more than 100 summits involved. For the second phase, Alberto called for torches to be lit also in main cities and various monuments.

In his instructions, Alberto also invited supporters to light a red candle in solidarity with the people of Tibet on the evening before; at 9pm. Sadsmokymountains.net and candle4tibet.org had merged to create a "Light Protest" on a world scale. The first candle known to ExWeb was lit in Bulgaria, by Herve Perouse, close friend of French Hugues, one of the victims on K2 this past summer.

The simple civil action will result in a monumental work of art and a poster named "Lit Your Own Flame." The manifest, along with other art forms for the event, was intended as an alternative to the Chinese Olympic torch, with the red smoke around the world aimed to show global support for human rights and Tibet.

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