Protests outside diamond conference
In another sign that the campaign for Gana and Gwi Bushmen rights is spreading across the world, Survival has learnt that there was a large protest today outside the World Diamond Conference in Vancouver, Canada.
The protest has been organised by a Canadian group called VIPIRG – Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group.
VIPIRG member Jessica Asch told Survival, 'There has been a lot of publicity here about the relocation of Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, so when we heard about the World Diamond Conference taking place in Vancouver we wanted to show our concern, and let the Botswana government and De Beers know how we Canadians feel about it. We are well aware of the devastating consequences of colonisation and mass relocations on Indigenous Peoples. We know the same process is taking place in Botswana to make way for diamond mining and are determined to stand in solidarity with the Bushmen. We want the people of Botswana to know that this is not beyond our scrutiny. We're determined to raise our voices with others in protest.'
The conference is being attended by diamond industry representatives from around the world. Survival has published an advert today in the city's main newspaper, the Vancouver Sun, to alert conference representatives to the scandal of the Bushmen's relocation.
Survival International's Director, Stephen Corry, said today, 'It really is encouraging to know that the people of Vancouver are supporting the Bushmen like this. We expect concern to continue spreading to other countries in the near future.'
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