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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
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.