BEERS CELEBRITY STORE OPENING LOSES ITS SPARKLE
- BUSHMEN URGE AMERICANS TO BOYCOTT DE BEERS
20 June 2005
Celebrities will this Wednesday 22 June (5.30-9pm) be urged by
protesters from human rights organisation Survival International
not to cross their picket line at the opening of the first De
Beers store in the USA (703 Fifth Avenue, New York), over the
eviction of the Bushmen from the Kalahari. Leading American
feminist Gloria Steinem will be joining the vigil. Survival has
also called for a boycott of De Beers.
De Beers has been caught in a storm of controversy over the
eviction of the last remaining Gana and Gwi Bushmen and
Bakgalagadi from their homes in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve,
Botswana. De Beers holds the concession on a large diamond
deposit in the reserve, and is prospecting for more. De Beers
claims its finds are 'subeconomic', but it has paid out millions
of dollars on the area and keeps a licence to mine there in the
The Botswana government and De Beers both deny that diamonds have
anything to do with the evictions. Yet Bushmen have been told by
government officials, 'If diamonds are found somewhere, the people
have to be chased away.'
Supermodel Iman famously 'quit as the face of De Beers ... after
letters she received from the charity Survival International.'
British supermodel Erin O'Connor similarly 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.' Survival is now urging the
new face of De Beers, British model Lily Cole, to quit.
Stephen Corry, Director of Survival said today, 'We encourage De
Beers to pressurise the Botswana government into reversing its
disastrous policy. We will not stop our campaign until the Bushmen
are allowed back onto their land.'
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
more information about the role of diamonds in the eviction of the
Kalahari Bushmen, go to:
For more information about Survival's Bushmen campaign, go to: