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Mining the Apocalypse
Over the past 50 years, top Israeli and Belgian diamond dealers have perpetrated conflict and injustice in Africa, fueled by and for diamonds. According to a report by the American Jewish Committee: after 1980 Mossad agents, military emissaries, and a small group of private businessmen replaced diplomats as Israels main interlocutors with African leaders and political (mainly opposition) groups. The report cites rising involvement of private defense and security interests, especially in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Central Africa Republic, since 1992.
Retired Israeli Defense Forces Colonel Yiar Klein reportedly organized arms for diamonds networks in Sierra Leone and Liberia after President Charles Taylor was deposed. President in 1997, Taylor was imprisoned in Massachusetts in 1984 for embezzlement in Liberia, but escaped mysteriously. He was close with President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, which is Israels base of operations in Africa and a conduit for illegal stones. Yar Klein violated the UN embargo by trading arms for diamonds from the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the rebels who chopped peoples hands off. In 1999 Klein was arrested in Sierra Leone on charges of smuggling arms to the RUF; transactions went through Ibrahim Bah, a Senegalese soldier of fortune and purported Al Qaeda businessperson.
Lebanese diamond middlepeople in both Sierra Leone and DRC are linked to the Hezbollah. The UN documented collaborations between Sierra Leone rebels, diamond baron Maurice Tempelsman, and Lazare Kaplan agent Damian Gagnon.
The Congos state diamond mining company, Societe Miniere De Bakwanga (MIBA), has been cited for shooting illegal diamond workers on its concessions in Mbuju Mayi, the diamond capital. Every day, hundreds of unemployed Congolese take similar risks in the diamond fields of Mbuji-Mayi, wrote Amnesty International in 2002. And every day, dozens of gunshots ring out as guards employed by MIBA seek to deter illegal miners. The BBC in August 2006 reported that MIBA security guards were sniping unemployed diamond miners. MIBA security is run by one of the many DRC interests of Belgian billionaire tycoon Philippe de Moerloose. A member of the Kinshasa elite, De Moerloose supplies jets and other presidential toys to Joseph Kabila, president of the DRC. Western corporations De Beers and BHP- Billiton both have partnered with MIBA.
In 2003, as the diamond-regulating Kimberley Process crystallized, MIBA signed an exclusive contract with Canadian Emaxon, a subsidiary of Dan Gertler Israel (DGI) Group. But the expansion of Gertler companies in Congo began in 2000 when former Congolese president Laurent Kabila offered Gertlers International Diamond Industries (IDI) a monopoly on Congolese diamonds and 88 percent of the proceeds, in exchange for Israeli military assistance to his new government. The DRC government expelled IDIs competitors from Congo and smuggling and fraud proliferated as thousands of poor miners suffered increasing coercion, violence, and exclusion.
Gertler pledged military assistance through retired General Yosi Ben-Hanan, Avigdor Lieberman (Deputy prime minister of Israel since November 2006 and leader of Israels far-right nationalist party Yisrael Beytenu), and Yossi Kamisa, a former Israeli police officer in the Anti-Terrorism Unit and advisor to the Ministry of National Infrastructures director general. Though the deal was revoked in April 2001President Laurent Kabila was assassinated that JanuaryGertler formed DGI and partnered with other top Israeli military officials and moved ahead.
Claiming he was cut out of the deal to train the Congolese army, former Israeli anti-terrorist police officer Yossi Kamisa filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Gertler, Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Organization (SIBAT), and SIBATs director-general Gen. (ret.) Yosi Ben-Hanan. Kamisas assistance was conditional on Gertler obtaining a diamond mining franchise in Congo: an agreement was indeed signed granting Gertler a franchise worth about $1 billion.
Kamisa, in January 2001, said SIBAT rejected his application to set up and train the Congo Army on the grounds that it violated Israels defense export policy. Meanwhile, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan and Gen. (ret.) Yanush Avigdor Ben-Gal applied to train the Congo Army in Israel and in Congo, in cooperation with Gertler. By 2002 Gertlers company was the leading exporter of Congolese gems. Top Congolese military officials apparently flew to Israel in 2000 to negotiate the deal and Gertler reportedly bribed Congolese officials and Angola Army generals who commanded Angola Army troops protecting the Congo capital Kinshasa. Note that Angola sent troops to Congo in July 2006 to quell any possible rebellion by a Congolese public angered by Western interests engineering of Congos historic national elections.
Gertler and partner Beny Steinmetz control DGI, Gertler Brothers, Beny Steinmetz Global Resources, and Nikanor and Global Enterprises Corporate (GEC) companies with massive diamond, and copper/cobalt concessions in Katanga, some in partnership with John Bredenkamp and Billy Rautenbach. The Gertler Brothers are Israeli property tycoons. The privatized Congolese mining parastatal GECAMINES is minority partner, and J.P. Morgan Chase is involved. George Forrests Kinross-Forrest Group also joined the fray. Forrest companies made the UN hit list of Congos looters. He has munitions factories in East Africa and his OM-Group is in Ohio. A pillar of exploitation in Congo since 1922, Forrest bankrolled Kabilas election victory. Dan Kurtzerformer U.S. ambassador to Israelis on Nikanors board.
Tempelsman was for decades the unofficial ambassador to Congo/Zaire; Gertler has usurped that role. In 2000 Gertler was named Honorary Consul to the Congo. Africa Confidential called President Kabilas 2003 visit to the Bush White House a coup for Gertler and Steinmetz, who may be the biggest De Beers sightholder. Gertlers best friend is Brooklyn-born Chaim Leibowitz, a personal friend of Condoleeza Rice. In 2003 Rice introduced Gertler and Leibowitz to Jendayi Frasier, a former NSC agent focused on Africa and a Harvard Kennedy School affiliate. Frasier was one of seven special G. W. Bush delegates sent to Kinshasa for the inauguration of President Joseph Kabila on December 6, 2006.
Tempelsman and Steinmetz bought diamonds from both sides during Angolas 30-year war. Israeli diamond tycoons Gertler and Leviev are reportedly jockeying for power with Isabel Dos Santos, the high-rolling diamond-studded daughter of the president of Angola. Given U.S. support for Rwanda and Uganda, and the U.S. alliance with Israel, Gertlers backing the Congolese army to fight rebel groups backed by Rwanda and Uganda amounts to the U.S. and Israel backing both sides in Congos holocaust.
Gertlers grandfather, Moshe Schnitzer, is known in Israel as Mr. Diamond. In his youth he joined the Irgun, an Israeli military cell responsible for terrorism. He later founded the Israel Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv, which today brings Israel $13 billion annually in commerce and is the countrys second-largest industry. Israel buys some 50 percent of the worlds rough diamonds, and the U.S. buys two-thirds of these. Schnitzers son and Dan Gertlers uncle is Shmuel Schnitzer, vice-chair of the Belgian-based World Diamond Councilthe entity that promotes the false image of clean or conflict-free diamonds.
The Congo is producing $1 billion a year in diamonds, Victor Kasongo, chief executive officer of DRCs Centre dEvaluation, dExpertise Et de Certification, told Reuters at a rough diamond conference in Tel Aviv in 2004. The World Diamond Council lists Congolese businessperson Victor Kasongo as a member. DRC mines minister Simon Tuma-Waku is special adviser to one Gertler/Steinmetz project in DRC.
Gertlers forays into the bloody world of diamonds involve Israeli arms dealer Yair Kleinthe retired Israeli Defense Forces Colonel mentioned abovewho is reportedly wanted by the U.S. for training Medellin drug-cartel militias in Colombia. Klein was convicted by Israel (1991) for his involvement with Columbian groups that targeted and assassinated Colombian politicians, journalists, and police. He was a field representative for Gertler in war-torn Sierra Leone and Liberia and was jailed in 1999 in Sierra Leone. Gertler also mingles with the Russian Military Brotherhood, a group of retired Russian generals whom Gertler describes as good friends. Another partner in the Israeli-American networks of the Gertler and Steinmetz brothers is Israeli-born Nir Lavnat, managing director of Johannesburg-based Ascot Diamonds, a member of the Steinmetz Group of Diamond Companies: Livnat is connected to a string of Israeli-Americans running companies from Florida to New York, Toronto to Tel Aviv.
De Beers holds 12 diamond concessions in DRCs blood-drenched Kasai provinces; Emaxon also holds concessions in the Kasais. One of DRCs largest diamond concessions, Kasai Shield, involves Australias Gravity Diamonds with BHP-Billiton, Mwana Africa, and MIBA, and through these BHP-B links to AngloGold, Barrick Gold, and Moto Gold (Kansteiner) in Ituri. BHP-B directors include: Paul Andersen, U.S. Presidents Advisory Council for Science and Technology, and David Jenkins, Halliburton Corp. Halliburton subsidiary Brown and Root backed the Rwandan Patriotic Front coups in Rwanda (1994) and Zaire (1996) where millions of innocent people were slaughtered. The numbers of dead from Congos warswhich began with the U.S.-backed invasion of 1996 and continue to todaylikely exceed ten million.
Diamonds Are Ugandas Best Friend
While plundering DRC, Ugandas diamond exports to Belgium tripled and their weapons imports rose. Uganda denied everything and the Western media reported nothing. Ugandas backers kept the development aid flowing. Friendly with Israel for years, Uganda bought MI-17 transport helicopters and armaments from Silver Shadow, an Israeli PMC registered with SIBAT, and one of many PMCs reportedly in DRC. In 1999 Uganda purchased seven MiG jet fighters from Belarus, and four were modified in Israel to increase their firepower. The Uganda governments terrorism in Congo was matched by decades of internal state terrorism in Northern Uganda. As of April 25 some 2,300 Ugandan troops were involved in the U.S. deconstruction of Somalia; Uganda is also involved in the Sudan.
With their constant military presence in eastern DRC since 1996, establishing informal networks to plunder, extort, and terrorize, top Rwandan officials and cronies shipped Congos stones from Kigali to Belgium on Sabenathe Belgian National Airline that carried Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba to his own murder in 1961. Kagames elite network funds their killing machine with illicit diamonds, coltan and timber, and extortion through commercial levies in Congo. According to the UN Panel of Experts on Illegal Exploitation of DRC, they set up a Congo desk run by Lebanese diamond merchant Aziz Nassour, purportedly linked to Al Qaeda. Nassour was displaced by Israeli diamond dealer Philippe Surowicz, remembered for his reign of terror in collusion with the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA).
Another force in the African diamond plunder is Pat Robertson, evangelist minister with the Christian Coalition. A Mobutu confidant, Robertsons African Development Corp. used the humanitarian cover of Operation Blessing to plunder diamonds during Congos bloodbath. He worked closely with Charles Taylor. Robertsons Freedom Gold is today bleeding Liberia.
The resource thefts from DRC occurred amid slavery, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed under the direct oversight of Presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, their generals James Kabarebe, James Kazini, Charles Kayonga, and Musevenis half-brother Salim Saleh. Israels Verona Commodities reportedly brokered arms shipments to Rwanda, but weapons are routed to the killing fields of Darfur, Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Somalia through a vast array of companies and countries, including Israel, the U.S., Canada, and the UK.
As everywhere, weapons destabilize and depopulate: landmines and unexploded ordinance remain heavily concentrated in Congo, maiming innocent people. While the system has seen various facelifts, little has changed. Diamonds out of DRC today continue to fuel warfare beyond the DRCs borders, while Congolese artisans suffer an average life expectancy of about 42 years.
The companies of Tony Buckingham and partner Antonio Teixeira operate through subsidiaries and joint ventures. One, DiamondWorks, counts Beny Steinmetz as a 50 percent shareholder. Through subsidiary Branch Energy, DiamondWorks has perpetuated war in 11 African countries, places like Equatorial Guinea where the bloodbath is whitewashed by U.S.-based Cassidy and Associates PR campaigns at some $120,000 a month.
Sandline International is the follow-on to Executive Outcomesthe Soldiers-of-Fortune firm portrayed in Blood Diamond. Mercenaries Tony Buckingham and Tim Spicer were partners in Executive Outcomes, and their Sandline has backed insurgencies in Africa. A Buckingham interest, Heritage Oil & Gas, is reportedly tied to the Carlyle Group and part of a major thrust to control oil and natural gas from the Red Sea, through Darfur, to the Great Lakes of Africa. Heritage is pumping on the Uganda-DRC border, in Angola, Sierra Leone, and Congo-Brazzaville.
The mining mafia of friends of Bill Clintoncriminal networks of offshore subsidiaries and joint venturesare run by international financiers like Max and Jean-Raymond Boulle, Robert Friedland, and Michael McMurrough. Their companies operate in all the wrong placesBurma, Angola, Sierra Leone, and Congo. America Mineral Fields (AMF), renamed ADASTRA, partnered with AngloAmerican in DRC, and was recently bought by First Quantum of Canada. Jean-Raymond Boulle, Maurice Tempelsman, Walter Kansteiner, Ed Royce (R-CA), and Corporate Council on Africa members like Halliburton, Boeing, Cargill and Freeport McMoranthese are the architects of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Americas NAFTA for Africa. AGOA destroys local markets, erects discriminatory trade barriers, undermines local economies to enrich elites and impoverish the massesin the language of diamondthink, the AGOA promotes free trade.
Canadas Golden Goose
When MGM launched its pre-release advertising of Blood Diamond in the fall of 2006, the diamond industry launched its pre-emptive strike. CNN News and the New York Times began peddling Canada as an alternative source for clean diamonds. When Mr. Walker, a medical student went shopping, wrote the NYT on December 14, 2006, he knew it would be a conscience issue for his fiancée, he said. He bought a Canadian diamond with a certificate.
The same NYT article apologized for diamond polishing in India by promoting a notion of workers freed from hunger and because many Africans depend on diamonds for their livelihood, the NYT pontificated, a boycott is not the answer. This is NYT columnist Nicholas Kristofs happy, expedient theme: The only thing worse than exploitationis no exploitation! Two cheers for sweatshops!
In South Africa De Beers diamonds are embedded in asbestos and hundreds of thousands of miners have suffered miserably or died from cancer, leukemia and silicosis over the decades of De Beers operations. In India, where 90 percent of all diamonds are finely cut for about 40 cents each, often by child slaves, cutters suffer and die of silicosis caused by inhalation of gem dust. Diamonds from South Africa and India are officially certified clean and safe.
The most effective means of helping communities is giving them a hand up, not a handout, says De Beerss PR about the open pit mining spreading through Canadas First Nations. This is a cornerstone of De Beerss approach to social sustainability. The idea is to build capacity, not dependency, in the communities with which the company interacts.
Alvin Fiddler, a leader of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation in Canadas boreal forest, rejects the spit-and-polish of De Beers PR for what it is: conflict and strife. The Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities are among the poorest in the world, ranked 69th in the UNs Human Development Index, with the lowest life expectancy in Canada, the highest youth suicide rates in the world, and an unemployment rate of more than 60 percent. With diamonds on our lands our communities should be wealthy.
De Beerss program to clear-cut boreal forest and open pit mine the Nishnawbe Aski Nation is not only ripping apart the land; court battles, corruption and greed are tearing apart the people. De Beers has violated treaties and trespassed, while helicopters and drill rigs destroyed the spring goose hunt on which the community depends for winter food. De Beers pumps out boreal swamps, resulting in salination and sludge spoiling the Attawapiskat River fishing. Some 260,000 hectares of pristine Canadian wildernesses will be devastated for diamonds. Moreover, Northern Canada is seeing an explosion of diamond mining by unscrupulous firms and offshore companies with government complicity: another page in the ongoing North American genocide.
The diamond industry has failed to deliver on its promises to combat blood diamonds, says Corinna Gilfillan of Global Witness, a non-government member of the Kimberley delegations, and instead has launched a PR campaign to undermine and convince the public that blood diamonds are no longer a problem. Contrary to the industrys misleading and disingenuous PR campaign, diamonds are still fuelling conflict today.
But Global Witness (GW) appears to be under the sway of De Beers and Tempelsman. GW supports the Kimberley Process, approving the legitimate government stamping of diamondsand this only institutionalizes structural violence. GWs representatives attended the 2001 Kennedy School conference on conflict diamonds and participated in the creation of the Kimberley Process, but they would not respond to questions about Tempelsmans relationship to the Harvard Conference or the Kimberley Process. And Global Witness nowhere mentions or challenges Maurice Tempelsman. On inspection its easy to see why: they cant.
Sponsors of Global Witness include the National Endowment for Democracy, Gleitsman Foundation, Open Society Institute (OSI), and the Tempelsman-friendly USAID. George Soross OSI funds sprang out of currency speculation that plundered Eastern European economies; Soros is an International Crises Group (ICG) director, and an insider in Russian affairs. The Gleitsman Foundation supports Harvards Kennedy School.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its partners facilitate political intervention in foreign countries. NEDs affiliate, Center for International Private Enterprise works, for example, with USAID in Afghanistan and is linked to Bechtel (Nexant). The NEDs affiliate, the National Democratic Institute, counts Maurice Tempelsman and Madeleine Albright as directors. Richard Gephardt is on the boards of NDI and NED, both of which funded Congos historic national elections from 2004 to 2006 and have been funding the opposition MDC party in Zimbabwe for years.
All evidence suggests that the diamond industry has no intention of substantive change. Indeed, in June 2002, as the Kimberley Process was unfolding in earnest, Daniel Horowitz, CEO of IDH Diamonds, gave a speech at the 3rd World Diamond Conference which reveals what the industry is trying so desperately to hide. A diamond distributor for the powerful Rio Tinto mining group, IDH works with Endiama, BHP-Billiton, De Beers, and others. The speech, titled Rough Diamonds in a Brave New World, went as follows: Ladies and gentlemen, it would be irresponsible to circumvent the fact that it is highly problematic, if not unfeasible, to work out a system in order to control the flow of rough diamonds around the world. The reality is that once diamonds are mined there is almost nothing one can do in order to prevent them from reaching the market. No certification scheme can truly be reliable, not only because war-torn areas are by definition disorganized, but mainly because it is intrinsically impossible to distinguish between good and bad diamonds. Misguiding traders and consumers with untrustworthy guarantees would inevitably be demystified over time.
As opposed to this, it is critical to publicize that the mainstream diamond trade is legitimate. It needs to be said again and again that conflict diamonds are an irrelevant portion of world production. And as far as humanitarian issues are concerned, the added value the industry generates worldwide particularly benefits the developing world.
Horowitz mapped out the public relations strategy now in play. Instead of addressing the structural factors that create and perpetuate misery in those far off places, the industry chose to spend millions of its profits to manage public perceptions. Because the origins of no diamond can be traced or documented, as Horowitz confirmed, any diamondfrom Liberia or Congo or Botswana or First Nationscan be rubber-stamped with a falsified certificate of origin: Canada.
The film Blood Diamond was no exposé on the glitter and greed of capitalism. It was a necessary part of a massive PR campaign to manage public perceptions, displace competitors edging in on the big diamond cartels, and make a lot of money. Indeed, just as the blood diamond campaign was grinding into high gear, the rebel diamond mafias were expediently linked to Al Qaeda. The media fanned the frenzy, saturating consumers with baseless stories about Islamic terrorists dealing in dirty diamonds. Big mining syndicates were the winners.
Full-page New York Times ads cost some $75,000 for a single appearance, $127,000 for a two-page spread. The reality is that more money is pumped into advertising diamonds as clean and conflict-free than is spent on development in Africas diamond zones. And there is not a single example of De Beers legitimately building capacity anywhere in the world, no matter what the New York Times tells us. The Kimberley Process put in place in 2003 has prevented diamonds from fueling conflicts and financing terrorist networks, announced the New York Times in their shameful cover story of March 27, 2007. Headlined Diamonds Move From Blood To Sweat And Tears, the front page story jumps to page eightwith six ads for Tiffany and Cartier in between and a $75,000 Tiffany ad afterwhere it says: Some countries like Botswana have been able to make their [diamond] deposits a source of wealth, through careful management and control.
Even if the diamond industry did changemore than cosmeticallythere are still millions of blood diamonds locked in the vaults of the diamond bourses to insure the monopoly-fixed prices of diamonds. Walk into a diamond retailer and ask about blood diamonds and you will be told, with a nervous laugh, and an audacious lie, Well, thats all been cleaned up. Because Canadian diamonds are conflict free, all diamonds are conflict-free. Look down at your new diamond and think of your relationship, and love, just like someone else didwhen they found your diamond in Africa.
keith harmon snow is an independent journalist and human rights investigator (www.allthingspass.com). Rick Hines is an artist, freelance writer, and independent researcher for social justice.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
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LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
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MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
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NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
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MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
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ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
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LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
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BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
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LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
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ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
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CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
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NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
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GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
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LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
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IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
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CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
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ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
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LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
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LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
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WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
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SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
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WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.