Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gold and Diamonds

Yesterday, a bunch of the-usual-suspects made a nuisance of ourselves in Coventry City Centre. A very polite and low key nuisance, of course.

We were joining the CAFOD Unearth Justice campaign. Basically the deal is that gold mining is causing untold misery in many poor countries. In some it acts as a fuel for ongoing conflict in others the environmental effects of opencast mining are large and nasty. So we were lobbying jewellers, asking them to take notice of where their gold came from, and to ensure that both the environment and human rights were protected. In fairness to them, all the managers we spoke to were very cheery and accepted our gold paperchain petitions with good grace.

Many of the jewellry chains have already made positive noises about the campaign - which is a very good thing - so we look forward to hearing good news resulting from yesterday's actions.

On a not unrelated theme, on one of our unusual cinema visits, H and I went to see Blood Diamond the other day. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio in his most sensible role to date, the film is a bloody one - telling the story of a family and a nation blown apart by civil war and funded by the sale of diamonds. It is a grim ride.

Yet again we are reminded about our responsibility - albeit indirectly - for instability and conflict in the world. The hard question is whether we are prepared to make the changes to our own lifestyles to allow others life. The Roman Catholic Church and RC agencies have setup the Livesimply project this lent which is an effort to do that, and should be commended.

We will soon be remembering the abolition of historic slavery and the unholy modern counterparts, where people are bought and sold like pieces of coal, and lives are destroyed for the sake of someone else's profit margin. Oh God have mercy.

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Blogger Karin said...

Obviously a persuasive film, even son has vowed never to buy a diamond having seen it. I am now trying to explain that that's a lot to do with what Fairtrade is about and it isn't just diamond miners who get a raw deal.

The live simply site has it's merits, although it is very much from a Catholic angle, but interesting all the same. Not unlike Living Generously, though.

5:28 AM  
Blogger Joe said...


7:20 AM  

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