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Survival International has organised a protest against De Beers to coincide with London Fashion Week at the De Beers party today, Tuesday 20 September 7pm – 9pm (De Beers, 45-50 Old Bond Street, London W1).
The protest against De Beers is in support of the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana who have been evicted from their lands, which have been carved up for diamond exploration. De Beers runs all Botswana's diamond mines. Several Bushmen have been tortured by wildlife officials for hunting to feed their families, and one Bushman recently died from his injuries. The Bushmen's reserve has now been sealed off by the government.
Survival International is using this protest to bring the Bushmen's plight to the attention of the fashion elite. The campaign has already had an impact: supermodel Iman famously 'quit as the face of De Beers … after letters she received from the charity Survival International'; British supermodel Erin O'Connor distanced herself from De Beers stating, 'I don't think that doing a job like (being the face of De Beers) would in any way add to my life or make me happy. I would make that stand, and say no', whilst the current face of De Beers, Lily Cole, has told the press that she would refuse to work for De Beers again stating 'I was unaware of these matters when I was booked for the shoot'. De Beers is currently planning to take Lily Cole on a tour of Botswana.
Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'The fashion elite need to know that it is no longer acceptable to wear De Beers's diamonds.'
Photos and footage available. For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]