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News :: Human Rights : Organizing : Politics : Race
Boston Activists Protest International Diamond Conference in NYC
07 Feb 2007
Members of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement from Boston traveled to New York on Monday to participate in the “All Diamonds Are Blood Diamonds” demonstration and press conference called by the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC). APSC is a white solidarity organization working under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party, which leads the Uhuru Movement.
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The demonstration was held outside the Hilton Hotel in opposition to the 4th Annual Rapaport Diamond Conference taking place inside. This year’s conference agenda clearly attempted to cover up the diamond industry’s bloody hand in Africa. The industry is taking a defensive posture today in large part due to the Uhuru Movement-led struggle of African people demanding to control their own diamonds.

In sub-freezing temperatures a crowd of around twenty people loudly called for a total boycott of all diamonds, an end to the brutal exploitation and oppression of African diamond miners and the return of all Africa’s resources to African people themselves. Powerful presentations were given by Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee; Aisha Fields, a member of the African People’s Socialist Party, and Diop Olugbala, International Organizer for the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.

Hess stated that, “The diamonds of Africa belong to African working people. They are part of the legacy of colonial plunder that began with slavery that has made America and Europe wealthy and powerful, and the majority of Africans impoverished and powerless. Every child growing up in Sierra Leone or South Africa or Botswana should live in prosperity with a beautiful home, first rate health care, an excellent education and the best prospects for life.”

Aisha Fields spoke about the African Development and Empowerment Programs that the African People’s Socialist Party is leading. The programs will bring water purification and sustainable electricity, run by the people themselves, to diamond-producing areas of Africa.

Diop Olugbala expounded on the Uhuru Movement slogan, “Touch One, Touch All!” stating that, “If African people had the power over their own land and resources in Africa, the police in New York would not be able to gun down Sean Bell in Queens!”

Burning Spear Media representatives inside the conference reported that there was no one present at the conference representing the diamond workers or even the neo-colonial governments of the diamond-producing nations. The discussion at the conference revolved around how the diamond industry could maintain its control over Africa’s resources and land, while appearing to be concerned about improving the conditions of the diamond workers.

The reality is that in Sierra Leone twenty-eight percent of children die before the age of five, and full-time diamond workers can’t even afford to feed their children. Botswana, the world’s largest supplier of uncut diamonds, has the highest AIDS rate in the world, and almost half the people live on less than a dollar a day.

Despite the diamond industry’s attempt to portray themselves as the saviors of African people, the only way that African people are going to experience prosperity and happiness is through gaining total control over their resources once again; by uniting and liberating Africa.

Organizers of the demonstration will continue the campaign with more actions, teach-ins and an “All Diamonds Are Blood Diamonds” speaking tour this spring. APSC calls for all concerned people to boycott diamonds and to give back your diamonds to the African People’s Development and Empowerment Programs.

To get involved in this powerful campaign visit www.boycottdiamonds.net, email info (at) apscuhuru.org or call 215-387-0919.
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See also:
http://www.boycottdiamonds.net
http://www.apscuhuru.org

This work licensed under a
Creative Commons license.
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