Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Survival International vs De Beers and Botswana government

Protesters: Survival International
Target: De Beers and the Botswana government
Location: De Beers, Piccadilly, London
Date: 3 November

The lowdown

Survival International launched a protest outside De Beers' flagship jewellery store in London, in response to the Botswana government's treatment of the Kalahari Bushmen. Protesters held placards saying 'Boycott Botswana Diamonds' and 'Save the Bushmen'.

Why the protests?

De Beers is part-owned by the Botswana government. Survival International argues that in 2002, the Bushmen were illegally evicted from their ancestral lands to make way for diamond mining. Survival director Stephen Corry said: 'Far from being an expensive token of eternal love, Botswana diamonds are a symbol of the oppression of southern Africa's first people.' How did Botswana respond?

Botswana minister of the environment, wildlife and tourism Kitso Mokaila told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme: 'Every mineral wealth that we have has taken all of us to school, has brought in development to every community. Therefore I'd encourage tourists to come and see for themselves and compare with the propaganda that Survival is spewing out.'

Media treatment

Reuters TV, BBC World Service and Voice of America held interviews, while picture agencies AFP, Getty Images and EPA also covered it. London Evening Standard, BBC Online and industry magazines also ran feature articles.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in