Tue 27 Mar 2007
The time has come to stop supporting tribal warfare, genocide, and acts of terror. The time has come to end the manipulation and brainwashing that the corrupt diamond cartels have enacted these last eighty years. The time has come to stop buying diamonds. Completely. No diamond rings. No diamond earrings. No diamond necklaces or bracelets or watches. When we wanted to stop elephants from being poached, the world had to stop buying ivory. If we want to end the wholesale slaughter of Africans, we must stop buying diamonds. And, we must do it now. Diamonds are used by rebel forces to finance arms. Al Qaeda amassed millions of dollars by selling diamonds mined by Revolutionary United Front rebels in Sierra Leone.
Please don’t tell me the lies about only some diamonds being conflict diamonds. Everyone knows that’s untrue. Blood diamonds are increasingly laundered through other countries. It’s no coincidence that countries formerly classified as mineral-poor have “discovered” growing numbers of diamonds since the world became aware of conflict diamonds. The horror must stop. And Americans, as consumers of 75% of the world’s diamonds annually, can stop it. Utah, in particular, owing to it’s high marriage rate, purchases more than its fair share of diamonds.
We should shut down the diamond stores by refusing to buy diamonds. Those who work for jewelry stores should find other employment. No longer can Americans claim ignorance of the African plight. We can do something and it’s clear that we must act. Let’s not be derailed by attempts to enact “partial boycotts”, since diamond origins are unknowable; we must ban them all.
In a 2002 report, Liz Stanton, Center for Popular Economics Staff Economist, lists Ten Reasons Why You Should Never Accept a Diamond Ring from Anyone. Among those ten are these few, highlighting the reality of the horrors that is the diamond industry:
- Conflict Diamonds Fund Civil Wars in Africa
- There is no reliable way to insure that your diamond was not mined or stolen by government or rebel military forces in order to finance civil conflict. Conflict diamonds are traded either for guns or for cash to pay and feed soldiers.
- Diamond Wars are Fought Using Child Warriors
- Many diamond producing governments and rebel forces use children as soldiers, laborers in military camps, and sex slaves. Child soldiers are given drugs to overcome their fear and reluctance to participate in atrocities.
- Small Arms Trade is Intimately Related to Diamond Smuggling
- Illicit diamonds inflame the clandestine trade of small arms. There are 500 million small arms in the world today which are used to kill 500,000 people annually, the vast majority of whom are non-combatants.
- Slave Laborers Cut and Polish Diamonds
- More than one-half of the world’s diamonds are processed in India where many of the cutters and polishers are bonded child laborers. Bonded children work to pay off the debts of their relatives, often unsuccessfully. When they reach adulthood their debt is passed on to their younger siblings or to their own children.
There is ongoing warfare in the Darfur province of Sudan, in Ethiopia, in Zaire and elsewhere. Fighting takes weapons and bullets and those cost money. Shutting down the world diamond market will eliminate much of their financial backing.
This boycott calls for the immediate and unconditional ban on all diamonds and diamond containing products (rings, necklaces, earrings, etc.)