For those of you interested in the ongoing story of De Beers
goings-on there is an interesting little piece in the Cape Times
entitled “De Beers criticised for gains from Bushmen’s eviction”,
De Beers criticised for gains from Bushmen’s eviction
June 24, 2005
By Joe Lauria
About 20 protestors tried to poop the opening night party at
De Beers’s first New York shop protesting at Botswana’s
evictions of Bushmen from the diamond-rich Kalahari game
New York: About 20 protestors tried to poop the opening night
party at De Beers’s first New York shop protesting at
Botswana’s evictions of Bushmen from the diamond-rich Kalahari
The protestors were trying to leaflet celebrities joining the
De Beers bash at its new retail outlet on Manhattan’s
glittering Fifth Avenue on Wednesday.
American feminist Gloria Steinem joined the demonstrators from
Survival International and the Indigenous Land Rights Fund,
trying to convince celebs she knows not to attend.
“The opening of this De Beers store is an indication to
Americans to buy diamonds that are supporting cruelty and land
loss in Botswana,” Steinem said.
The Botswana government claims that around 2 000 Bushmen were
put in relocation camps in 2002 from land their ancestors had
occupied for at least 40 000 years because it was costing the
government too much to provide social services.
“The services cost the state $13 000 a month and it cost
millions to relocate them,” said Rupert Isaacson of Indigenous
Land Rights Fund. "The Bushmen aren’t saying don’t mine, don’t
explore. They’re asking not to be dispossessed.
“De Beers is in the position to put pressure on the government
for meaningful change in policy because they are business
partners,” Isaacson said.
He finds it suspicious that months after the removal, De Beers
and other diamond exploration companies moved in with
government-granted concessions. The government and De Beers
deny diamonds had anything to do with the evictions.
“De Beers has gambled on people not caring very much, or not
knowing,” Isaacson said.
Source: Cape Times,
The Cape Times & Independent Online (Pty) Ltd. All rights
in The City of Light