VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 24 POSTED ON: 3/22/2012
BLOOD Diamonds: Are they forever? SS10 – Globalization Mr. R. Thompson “Illicit diamonds make fabulous profits for terrorists and corporarations alike. The trade illustrates with the hard clarity of the gem itself that no matter where human rights violations occur, the world ignores them at its peril.” Are You Involved? • What is the historical background to the diamond industry? • What are Diamonds? • Why do people want them so badly? • Who is producing the worlds diamonds? • What are the working and living conditions of those producing the worlds diamonds? • Should we be looking more closely at where our diamonds are coming from? • Should we more carefully look at how all our consumer goods are being created? Slave/Gun Cycle & Diamond/Gun Cycle – Is History Repeating Itself? Slavery was a part of African History long before the Europeans arrived The Transatlantic Slave trade changed the way slavery operated in Africa. From the 1400’s to 1870 10 million slaves were sent from Africa to America alone in brutal middle passages. The Slave/Gun Cycle European Traders brought men, women and children from West African Coasts and transported them chained together and packed below decks where they had little room to move. Some captains took so many slaves that there was little room for fresh water. When the decks were sealed the heat caused many captives to die of suffocation. Many more died of disease. Those who survived (usually about 50%) were sold to plantation owners who farmed in Sugar in the West Indies, or Tobacco & Cotton in North America. • The first leg of the cycle might begin The in a country like New England (America) The ship would be loaded Triangular with rum, guns and ammunition headed for a West African port. Slave Trade • Once these ships arrived in West Africa, these guns & ammo would be traded for slaves who would be loaded on the ships. • This trade gave West African tribes an advantage in the wars they were fighting with tribes from the interior of Africa and they could therefore capture more prisoners of war to be later traded with the Americans and Europeans for more guns & ammo. • Slaves were now transported To The Americas below deck, tightly packed like any other cargo in order to maximize profits. • Those who survived the voyage would be sold in Slave Markets in the West Indies and traded for other products like tobacco or sugar. The slaves would often end up in the Southern United States to be used as labour on their plantations. • These products would now be shipped back to New England (America) for use by consumers there or for sale to other European countries. • Many of today's diamonds are produced in 3rd World countries in Africa an South America. Todays Cycle • The conditions under which these diamonds are mined are terrible with miners working under slave like conditions. • In addition in 1998 about 20% of the world’s diamonds were being used to finance wars of insurgency in countries like Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) The Gun Cycle Continues Like the Historical Slave/Gun Cycle. Guns are the product these rebel African groups most want. They often enslave men, women and children to work in the diamond mines or may pay them pennies a day to work. Once again the diamonds end up in developed Western Nations, while the rebel groups trade the money they make for the diamonds for more weapons and the cycle continues. “Blood Diamonds” Africans who oppose the rebel groups are often slaughtered. Those who most need protection are often those who are most often abused under this immoral trade. • The Ancient Greeks What are thought that diamonds were splinters of stars Diamonds? fallen to earth. • In reality diamonds are crystals of pure carbon (coal) that has been crystallized at high temperatures over millions of years. • The value of a diamond is usually measure by what is known as the “four c’s”. Color, Clarity, Carat weight, and cut. Today the world would benefit from an additional C. Conflict-free. Why Diamonds Before 1938 diamonds did not hold the power over us that they do today. At that time the value of an average diamond in North America was only $80. De Beers diamond corporation decided to use advertising and the media to convince young men and women that diamonds are actually symbols of love. Hollywood Steps In The Movie industry was the fastest growing industry of the time and De Beers decided to take advantage of it. Movie Idols would be given diamonds to use as a symbol of their love. In addition magazines and newspaper adds would reinforce the link between diamonds and love. Royalty and Diamonds Since Great Britain had an interest in the success of the diamond industry the British Monarchy was convinced they should use diamonds rather than other jewels when in public events. The Queen went on a well- publicized trip to several South African diamond mines and accepted a diamond from De Beers corporation. De Beers decided they needed a slogan for their campaign “Diamonds and that slogan became, “A are Forever” Diamond is Forever” By 1950 90% of young men proposing marriage were doing so with a diamond engagement ring, the campaign had been a success. The diamond movement received a boost when Marilyn Monroe starred in the blockbuster film, “Gentlemen prefer Blondes” and sang the song “Diamonds are a girls best friend” Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend The French were bred to die for love There may come a time when a hard boiled They delight in fighting duels employer But I prefer a man who lives Thinks your awful nice And gives expensive jewels But get that ice or else no dice A kiss on the hand may be quite He's your guy when stocks are high continental But beware when the start to descend But diamonds are a girl's best friend It's then that those louses go back to their spou A kiss may be grand but it won't pay the Diamonds are a girl's best friend rental I've heard of affairs that are strictly platonic On your humble flat, or help you at the But diamonds are a girl's best friend automat And I think affairs that you must keep liaisonic Men grow cold as girls grow old Are better bets if little pets get big baggettes And we all lose our charms in the end Time rolls on and youth is gone But square cut or pear shaped And you can't straighten up when you bend These rocks don't lose their shape But stiff back or stiff knees Diamonds are a girl's best friend You stand straight at Tiffany's Tiffany's, Cartier Diamonds Talk to me, Harry, Winston, tell me all Diamonds about it I don't mean rhinestones There may come a time when a lass But Diamonds needs a lawyer Are A Girl's Best Friend But diamonds are a girl's best friend Where are today’s Diamonds coming from? Most of today’s diamonds are produced in nations in Africa and South America. However Canada is growing as a diamond producing nation. Today we are the 6th largest diamond producing nation and we are expected to become the 2nd largest producer by the year 2010. In 2006 Canada produced 2 Billion dollars in Diamonds. Where are the World’s Many of the world’s diamonds Blood Diamonds? are mined in 3rd World nations. The Term “Blood Diamond” is used to describe a diamond mined in a war zone, and usually used to finance that war. Other terms for Blood Diamonds are Dirty Diamonds, Conflict Diamonds, or War Diamonds. In May of 2000 the United Nations met in Kimberly South Africa to The discuss ways to stop the trade of Blood Diamonds. The results of the Kimberly agreement signed there have led to a reduction in the number of blood Process diamonds being exported. The trade in this industry has dropped now to less than 4%, however that still means that $1 Billion worth of diamonds are funding wars. In addition most diamonds are still mined in African nations under terrible working conditions. Mines are dangerous places which often collapse, killing the miners inside. Because children are small and cheap to pay, many of the workers are small children. What does the following suggest about the mining industry? Click on photo-essay below by mousing over the icon to view presentation. Hit closebutton (x) when done – then hit space bar to continue. Click on photo-essay below by mousing over the icon to view presentation. Hit close button (x) when done – then hit space bar to continue. Is Canada First Nations leader slams Canadian diamonds (CBC NEWS ARTICLE) A First Nations group in Ontario is trying to “Conflict-Free” dissuade Americans from buying Canadian diamonds this holiday season, saying the jewels are mined at the expense of its people. Alvin Fiddler, deputy grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, said De Beers Canada in particular is causing environmental devastation and disrupting his community of 45,000 Cree and Ojibwa in northern Ontario. "They're not clean diamonds; they're not conflict-free diamonds," Fiddler told CBC News. "People are paying a price for these diamonds and it's our people in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Our people, our children, are languishing in poverty while these resources are being extracted from their territory." Fiddler this week had an editorial published in the diamond industry trade publication Rapaport News, in which he outlined his concerns about Canadian diamond exploration and mining. He says several communities have called for a moratorium on mineral exploration on land where the legal title is under dispute. "Tell De Beers, other diamond miners and Canada that unless things change, Canadian diamonds are no better than conflict diamonds from Africa." What should YOU do? What should be done about the Blood Diamond Industry? Should we attempt to change the working conditions of those involved in the Diamond Industry? Should we be concerned with environmental conditions, land claim concerns, and working conditions in Canadian Mines? Should Canadians consumers consider the sources of other products being purchased here and what treatment their workers are living under? WHAT WILL YOU DO? The End?
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