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On Saturday 13th December a number of ISM activists braved the rain and cold, took to the streets and voiced their opposition to Lev Leviev and his blood diamonds which finance the illegal Israeli settlement expansion into the Palestinian territories.
Located on the upmarket Old Bond Street in the West End of London, activists stood out against a backdrop of designer boutiques. Despite initial opposition by Leviev’s security guards, management and police officers, the demonstration went ahead undeterred.
Activists shouted various chants, read out facts about Leviev’s human rights abuses and war crimes, distributed leaflets and spoke with members of the public about Leviev’s more sinister activities. We wanted to raise awareness that the shine of the diamonds can’t take away from the darkness of his abuses. Even the security guards took an interest and it was suggested they find an alternative company they could be proud to work for.
Nonetheless, after a couple of hours of, we felt we had successfully deterred potential customers, with no one during the entire time of our presence even entertaining the idea of entering the store.
We hope the protest will pave the way for future actions to maintain the pressure against Leviev, and show solidarity with the New York and Dubai activists protesting the Leviev stores there as well as all other activists involved in the anti -Leviev campaign.
Lev Leviev commits a compendium of human rights abuses ranging from supporting the oppressive Angolan Dos Santos regime which is renowned for its corruption, lack of transparency and violence, owning diamond mines which employ private security firms known to beat, whip and sexually abuse employees, through to purchasing rubies from Burma which supports the military junta and directly financing the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.
As part of the Jewish Land Redemption Fund, Leviev finances the expansion of Mattityahu East in Modi’in Illit, Zufim, Maale Adumim and Har Homa. All of these are in violation of International Law as set down in the Fourth Geneva Convention and the position is further supported by both the UN and the international Court of Justice. The theft of Palestinian land leads to the impoverishment and subjugation of Palestinian people and violent oppression against Palestinian non-violent resistance.
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