Thursday, December 14, 2006

APSC: 'All Diamonds are Blood Diamonds'

This is an article out of Rappaport, thought it was an interesting read. You can't really believe that you can boycott a whole trade, when the majority of the trade was not involved in the "conflict diamonds"

The African People's Solidarity Committee (APSC) launched a campaign against the diamond trade under the idea that consumers should boycott all diamonds.

APSC wished to "educate the American public about the violence and oppression" in the diamond trade, and members of the organization hit movie theaters playing Blood Diamond on December 8 in Oakland, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; and St. Petersburg, Florida.

The group was founded by the Uhuru (African freedom) movement to organize support from the white community for the African liberation and unification struggle. APSC calls for organized protests targeting the diamond industry, calls all diamonds blood diamonds, asks consumers to donate diamonds to the Uhuru Movement for African-led development programs for renewable energy and water purification in Africa, and supports reparations and national liberation for African people.

APSC rejects the notion that diamonds help those in Africa. According to the group,
"The World Diamond Council admits that $8.4 billion in rough diamonds are extracted from Africa each year. This amount multiplies as the diamonds are refined and sold, traveling from Africa to Antwerp to Israel and the United States, enriching white communities along the way."

Alison Hoehne, campaign organizer, said, “We have the responsibility to shut down an industry that ravages the land and labor of Africa to benefit the white world. For white society, the diamond is promoted to represent the ultimate expression of love. For Africa, the diamond trade has its origins in colonialism, with African people forced to labor on their own land under slave-like conditions for pennies a day.”

“All diamonds are blood diamonds!" Hoehne said. "The diamond wars are just another chapter in the centuries-long history of Western colonial domination in Africa that kidnapped millions of African people for enslavement in the Americas, wiped out whole segments of the African population in Africa, stole African land and resources, and enslaved African people on their own soil for the benefit of the white world.”

APSC provides online readers with a fact sheet that states De Beers controls 80 percent of the world diamond trade, (Rapaport Research estimates it closer to 50 percent.)

Specifically on Sierra Leone the group contends, "According to a recent study, between 1937 and 1996, $15 billion worth of diamonds were exported and sold from Sierra Leone. Yet more than half the people of Sierra Leone live on about 30 cents a day."

"Africa does not need charity programs. There is a growing movement, led by the African Socialist International, for African working people themselves to control their own land and resources for their benefit," the fact sheet reads.

APSC provides readers with an Oakland mailing address for which to send their diamonds. The website offers a flyer for download called: Let people know that all diamonds are blood diamonds.

Blood Diamond movie, the group concluded, blames Africans for oppression.

APSC defines: "The term blood diamond was coined by the brutal De Beers cartel...De Beers was afraid that their worldwide control of prices would be undermined by a market flooded with renegade diamonds. This is why De Beers set up the Kimberley Process—to keep the unregulated diamonds off the market..."

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