Friday, November 30, 2007

"Student day of action against attacks on Iran"

On the Web at:

Tuesday 27 November 2007


Students from the School of Oriental and African Studies held a die-in on Thursday of last week (Pic: Claire Solomon)

Students across Britain held protests, meetings and street theatre on Thursday of last week as part of the Stop the War Coalition’s student day of action against an attack on Iran.

Activists used the day’s events to collect pledges from fellow students to take direct action in the case of any attack on Iran.

Dominic Kavakeb from Essex university told Socialist Worker that the Stop the War group organised activities with the Amnesty society. They hung a huge banner in the main square and paraded in orange Guantanamo Bay style jumpsuits.

“By the end of the day over 500 students had pledged to take action if there is an attack on Iran,” Dominic said.

At University College, London, campaigners dressed as George Bush and Gordon Brown towered over kneeling hooded figures representing Afghanistan and Iraq. Students were asked to add their own handprints to a “Hands Off Iran” banner.

Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies dropped a banner from the roof of the Brunei gallery and around 200 students held a die-in on the steps.

In Portsmouth, art students designed and displayed their own anti-war art.

At Leeds university, Míchéal MacUidhir reports that students set up a “tent state” teach-in with a giant marquee, a “creative space” and smaller tents. They put on music, meetings, banner making and provided food.


Students from Glasgow and Strathclyde universities dropped banners and chalked messages at their campuses before marching to meet up in Glasgow city centre. Julie Sherry from Glasgow university said, “We marched together to the military recruitment office and blockaded the building – shutting down the office for the rest of the day.”

Stop the war activists from Manchester university and Manchester Metropolitan University marched together to demonstrate at the BBC offices in protest at biased pro-war reporting.

Across the country many new Stop the War groups used the day of action to establish themselves on campus and attract new members.

John Cooper, a student at Kings College in London, told Socialist Worker that 50 students came to the first Stop the War meeting at the college in four years. He said, “Many were keen to get involved in the movement. Eight people signed up to go to the World Against War conference.”

At Imperial College in London, a very new Stop the War group organised an “eat-in”.

Student Henrique Sa Earp explained, “We set up a stall in the common room and engaged with people passing by or having their lunch. We also used the day to publicise a meeting we held on Friday to discuss the threat against Iran.”


Stop War on Iran

Sign up for the World Against War Conference
World Against War flyer
Download flyer

Saturday 1st December 2007

Central Hall Westminster

Storey's Gate, London SW1 9NH

On the Web at:

Location map, full travel details and programme

This conference will be an unique event with delegates coming to London from all five continents.
They will be calling for the complete end to the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and opposition to any attack against Iran. Delegates will also look at the broader struggle against war around the world and against continuing threats from the US administration. At the final plenary the conference will discuss co-ordinated international anti-war actions for 2008.

To book your ticket phone 020 7278 6694.

Speakers already confirmed include:


Dennis Halliday
, Hans Von Sponeck, former humanitarian co-ordinators in Iraq, Hassan Jumaa, President Iraqi Federation of Oil Workers Unions, Jawad Al Khalassi, General Secretary Iraq Foundation Congress, Hannah Ibrahim, Women's Will Iraq, Ivona Novomestská, Czech No Bases Campaign, Mrs. Marzieh Mortazi Langroudi, a leading member of the Iranian group Mothers Against War, Ibrahim Mousawi the editor of Al Intiqad, Hezbollah's newspaper, Karamat Ali, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education in Karachi, Khaled Hadadah, Gen Sec Lebanese Communist Party, George Martin, United for Peace & Justice USA, Brigitte Ostmeyer from new German Left party, Hamdeen Sabahy, Eqyptian MP and leader of the democracy movement, Mohammad Omidvar, Iranian Tudeh Party, Jan Neoral, Czech League of Mayors, Tony Benn, President Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey German Stop the War Convenor, Mark Thomas, campaigning comedian, George Galloway MP, Craig Murray, ex-British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Sami Ramadani, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation, Richard Boyd Barrett, Stop the War Coalition Ireland, UNT union confederation,Venezuela, Yannis Sifikakis, Greek Stop the War Coalition, Korean Veterans for Peace.


Boycotting Israeli academics is "an important tool in the defense of academic freedom"

"Ryerson debates boycott of Israeli academics:

"Ryerson prof calls academic boycott "an important tool in the defense of academic freedom"


Those filling an auditorium at Ryerson University Wednesday evening were expecting what was advertised as a community forum on boycotts and academic freedom. What they got, instead, were two separate communities discussing their viewpoints without any intention of compromising or changing their ideas. The number of open-minded participants in the room could have been counted on one hand.

The forum was called in response to Ryerson president Sheldon Levy’s statement this summer condemning the British University and College Union’s boycott of Israeli academics and universities. “We will not stand by as the very nature of university education is being undermined,” Levy said.

Presidents at the University of British Columbia, McGill University, and York University also posted statements on their websites denouncing the boycott. "Protection of academic freedoms, and that includes the freedom to collaborate with academic partners anywhere in the world on important issues, is absolutely fundamental to the mission of a university," McGill University principal Heather Munroe-Blum said. "This proposed boycott needs to be denounced widely."

The boycott has also been rejected by a number of high profile American institutions. Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger said, “We will not hold intellectual exchange hostage to the political disagreements of the moment.” He went on to challenge the British union to include Columbia on their boycott list because the university “does not intend to draw distinctions between [its] mission and that of the universities [the union] is seeking to punish.”

Despite wide agreement on the issue, the Ryerson community was split on the position the university should take. The use of “we” in Levy’s statement angered pro-Palestinian groups on campus. They felt Levy (even though he is the president of the university) had no place speaking on behalf of Ryerson on the matter.

“He ends [the statement] by speaking on behalf of an indeterminate we, on behalf of the university which includes many students who may feel that president Levy does not and cannot speak for them,” professor Stuart Murray, said during the forum.

But Levy, in a phone interview, defended his condemnation of the boycott. “I have a duty to uphold the principles of the university,” he said. “One of the key principals is academic freedom.” He believes that yesterday’s forum was part of his commitment to allow debate on campus.

This summer’s statement wasn’t the only complaint forum participation brought against Levy, including the alleged “selling out to corporate interests.” But Levy, who was present during the forum, sat unflinching throughout the evening, not betraying his thoughts or emotions.

Professor Alan Sears called the boycott a defense of academic freedom. “It is an important tool in the defense of academic freedom ... the boycott is a pressure tactic for genuine freedom for Palestinians who are deprived of it.”

Despite criticizing Levy, Murray spoke against the Israel boycott, noting that a number of the strongest critics of Israeli policies are Israeli academics. "They would be silenced as well," he said.

Sears was not the only one who felt that silencing others was the best method of protecting academic freedom; student activist Heather Kere, one of the organizers of the event and a key figure pushing for a boycott against Israel, started the evening by attacking Levy’s opposition to the boycott. She claims that his opposition “silences many voices” and stifles debate.

Sears and Kere clearly missed the irony of their positions by arguing that the best way to protect freedom is to take it away.

Sears joked that he understood how important academic freedom is; he said that he relies on it as somebody who challenges the social conventions of society.

John Caruana, one of the panelists opposed to a boycott, made clear after the event that supporting academic freedom "is not supporting the Israeli regime."

Murray agreed: "If the roles were reversed, I would be defending Palestinian academic freedom.”

-with files from Erin Millar


Israeli water firm faces boycott call- in Edinburgh City Council:

"Israeli water firm faces boycott call in Capital"

THE EVENING NEWS (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Monday, November 26, 2007

On the Web at:

AN Israeli water firm could lose its £117,000 contract with the city council after claims it is "pillaging" Syrian natural resources to create profit.

Various groups are calling for a boycott of Eden Springs. It operates in the Golan Heights, a border plateau captured by Israel from Syria in the Six-Day War in 1967.

Its UK arm supplies water coolers for council-run schools and offices in Edinburgh, and at a meeting this week, councillors agreed to call for a review of the contract. Mick Napier, chairman of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: "I am outraged that money is being given to reward Eden Springs. This company pillages the water of an occupied territory."

Labour councillor Gordon Munro originally lodged a motion calling on officials to cancel the contract with Eden Springs, but following legal advice, the politicians agreed to receive a report and review the situation.

An Eden Springs spokesman said: "Eden Springs UK is a separate unit, and the water used in the UK is sourced in the UK."

"We have 100,000 customers in the country and employ around 200 people in Scotland."

This article:

Last updated: 26-Nov-07 12:03 GMT


1. PC Plod / 12:33pm 26 Nov 2007

Eden Springs may claim be a seperate company but since it was taken over by the Israeli one it's lost that status and has to be treated as such - the profits go back to Israel to continue the oppression, torture and murder of people in illegally occupied lands.

Report as unsuitable

2. stef.s / 12:59pm 26 Nov 2007

Why can't people just drink tap water?

Report as unsuitable

3. Paul Voltaire / 1:31pm 26 Nov 2007

The politics of water.
How fascinating.

Report as unsuitable

4. Vanesa, Edinburgh / 1:38pm 26 Nov 2007

The fact that our council tax is being used to support yet another illegal Israeli occupation is very worrying.

Given that Eden Springs is in clear violation of international law (by raping the resources of the territory Israel illegally occupies), by rewarding them with this contract, the Council are setting themselves up to be charged with complicity.

Good for the Labour councillor that presented the motion to cancel the contract. At a national level, Labour are clearly complicit with Israeli atrocities, but at least in Edinburgh Council, some principled people are willing to stand up for justice.

The boycott of South Africa led to the downfall of Apartheid there. Great to see the growing campaign to BOYCOTT ISRAELI APARTHEID.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another victim of Apartheid Israel's missiles:

Palestinian child, wounded by an Israeli missile in the Gaza Strip.


"Gaza is already a replica of Ghetto Warsaw."

"The International Call to Stop The Gaza Siege Now"

On the Web at:

November 21, 2007

Please take one minute to SIGN the petition: "The International Call to Stop The Gaza Siege Now"
But first, read the following "Open Letter to Sir John Holmes" about the genocidal siege on the 1.4 million people in Gaza, Occupied Palestine.

(Please take one minute to SIGN the petition: "The International Call to Stop The Gaza Siege Now"
But first, read the following "Open Letter to Sir John Holmes" about the genocidal siege on the 1.4 million people in Gaza, Occupied Palestine. Please take one more minute to send this open letter to the list of email following, in order to stop this crime against humanity. Thank you.)

Dear Sir,

Have you heard about this Open Letter to Sir John Holmes requesting him to take action against the humanitarian crisis in Gaza? Well I am hereby begging you to give him a ring and request him to not ignore it and ask him to act upon it as a matter of URGENCY.

Thank You

Open Letter to Sir John Holmes, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Khalid Amayreh
November 19, 2007

Dear Sir: Greeting

You must be aware of the nightmare now unfolding in the Gaza Strip. Gaza is simply dying a slow and painful death at the hands of the children and grandchildren of the Holocaust. This is not an overstatement or exaggerated description of a people long tormented by a sinister occupying power that is hell- bent on decimating them, using the basest and most inhumane of means, such as preventing food and other basic needs from reaching them.
I could go on and one and on describing and explaining the catastrophic situation in Gaza where on any given day, children and other civilians succumb to their illnesses because Israel and other neighbouring countries wouldn’t allow them to leave the blockaded territory for adequate medical care.

I don’t know if your office is receiving daily and accurate reports from the Gaza Strip. But in case it doesn’t, a quick glance at news reports from that tormented land would suffice to give you a fair idea of what is happening there.

True, some foodstuff and a few other commodities are being allowed to reach Gaza. However, these are utterly inadequate to meet the minimal needs of more than 1.4 million beleaguered human beings, the vast bulk of whom are unemployed, thoroughly impoverished and desperately hopeless.

Besides, Gazans, like the rest of humanity, need more than bread and tea. They need to live a dignified life. This is their God-given right as humans. This right must not be compromised by political cannibalism that is brazenly practiced by a world claming to be civilized and enlightened when in reality its actions and behaviour are millions of light years apart from civility and enlightenment.

I am not going to blame Israel and the United States and their allies and friends for this unfolding tragedy. The Quran states "wala Yas’alu 'an thunoobihemol Mujrimun" meaning that "criminals are not much concerned about their sins."

This Quranic verse, which I am sure has Biblical equivalents, obviously applies fairly and squarely to child-killing and child-starving states and armies that kill children and innocent people knowingly and deliberately for political reasons.

However, as a UN official whose responsibility includes overseeing the situation in Gaza and preventing a Nazi-like catastrophe from taking place in any part of the world, you are called upon in the strongest terms to immediately take pro-active and tangible measures to save Gaza’s helpless inhabitants from what looks a certain looming disaster, especially if the current draconian blockade continues.

There is no doubt that the firing by Palestinian guerrillas of homemade Qassam projectiles onto Israeli settlements in the area is a problem. But it is a problem made in Israel since the Jewish state stubbornly refuses to stop killing innocent Palestinians and destroying their homes and bulldozing their farms. Israel wants to keep up the killing of Palestinian children regardless of whether the Palestinian guerrillas observe a ceasefire or not.

This sufficiently explains Israel’s adamant rejection of Palestinian ceasefire proposals made on several occasions by Prime Minister Haniya and other Gaza officials.
The reason for this may not be sufficiently clear for all, especially in the West where pro-Israeli media often turn the black into white and the big lie into a "virtually reality" glorified by millions.

Well, Israel simply doesn’t view herself as humanly equal to Palestinians and non-Jews in general. That is really the crux of the matter and the mother of all sins in the Middle East.
Today, the people of Gaza nearly completely rely on the good will of the international community for their physical survival, which they have come to no longer take for granted, given the indifferent silence and brutal callousness of the international community towards their enduring plight.

Unfortunately and regrettably, the UN, too, is watching the tragedy in Gaza with passivity and a great modicum of indifference. This passivity, unethical and incompatible with UN Charter and ideals, serves only to embolden Israel to tighten its barbaric grip on that tormented region further and exacerbate the suffering of its people.

I am saying that because I am convinced that Israel, under whose harsh occupation we have been languishing for over 40 years, would refrain from taking more pornographic acts of genocide against our people only if the international community made it clear that such behaviour would be unacceptable. Otherwise, Israel would continue to test the will of the world so that if the world’s conscience slumbered or looked the other way, Israel would commit the unthinkable.

This is not far-fetched at all. A state that only last year dropped 2-3 million bomblets on Lebanon, could commit a similarly monstrous crime against the more vulnerable and utterly unprotected Palestinians.

This week, many members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, vociferously protested their army’s failure to "completely paralyse Gaza," with some lawmakers asking their government "why there is still life in Gaza, why there is still electricity in Gaza. We must make sure to them who are the masters!"

This shows that were it not for the international public opinion, Israel would emulate the Third Reich. We are talking after all about a state without conscience, without morality.
So, Israel won’t relent as long as the international community plays blind, deaf and dumb and looks the other way, while Gazans and other Palestinians are being killed, starved and brutalized.

Sir: Don’t you ever count on regional states. These failed regimes prefer the legitimacy that comes from pleasing and appeasing the United States more than that which comes from doing the right thing.

Now what are you going to do to put an end to this nightmare? As a fellow human being, I urge you again in the name of the voiceless and the helpless in Gaza, ordinary people, un-politicised and nearly totally preoccupied with making ends meet, to take a meaningful action now to end this obscenity, the criminal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

I hope and pray you will deal with this matter with the urgency it deserves. Gaza is really facing a grave danger of collapse and demise, and we must never allow this to happen.
Gaza is already a replica of Ghetto Warsaw. For God’s sake, we must not allow Israeli criminality, American acquiescence and international impotence to turn it into another Auschwitz.

Battle for Boycott of Apartheid Israel, at London School of Economics:

"LSE Hypocrisy Continues Over Palestinian Right to Education"

by James Caspell and Ziyaad Lunat

November 23, 2007

On the Web at:

The London School of Economics has backtracked on promises to students after a long-awaited meeting with Director Howard Davies, by refusing to publish a statement which acknowledged the Palestinian Right to Education. Despite explicit protests from students that he should not be in attendance, controversial LSE Council Chair, Lord Grabiner of Aldwych, insisted on being present at the meeting and stifled debate over the crucial issue.

- School Refuses To Publish Statement Backing Universal Academic Freedom

- LSE Council Chair Grabiner Gatecrashes Student-Staff Meeting With Director

The London School of Economics has backtracked on promises to students after a long-awaited meeting with Director Howard Davies, by refusing to publish a statement which acknowledged the Palestinian Right to Education. Despite explicit protests from students that he should not be in attendance, controversial LSE Council Chair, Lord Grabiner of Aldwych, insisted on being present at the meeting and stifled debate over the crucial issue.

On Tuesday 20th November, representatives of LSE students, and members of academic staff, met with representatives of LSE Council to discuss the Director’s opposition to a campus debate on a potential boycott of Israeli academic institutions after a UCU (University and College Union) resolution[1] backed such debate. The meeting was held after students were forced to resort to direct action to obtain a meeting with their Director, who had twice ignored written requests to discuss the issue, signed by over 100 students, staff and alumni.

In the meeting, Lord Grabiner and others rejected the concerns of those seeking an even-handed approach by the School, implying that they were unable to read properly. Meanwhile the School’s Director Howard Davies refused to acknowledge that the provocative statement on the LSE website constituted opposition to debate.

The students also questioned Grabiner, the non-executive Chair of LSE Council, on his remarks in a House of Lords debate on anti-Semitism in which he branded the UCU motion for debate as “poisonous”, warning that “we must be vigilant”. Grabiner had stated that “the Director of the LSE, Sir Howard Davies, promptly rejected the UCU resolution, and that appears clearly and firmly on the front of the [LSE] website.”[2]

Many students are infuriated that Grabiner has suggested that those who wish to debate the boycott may in any way be “anti-Semitic” whilst also appearing to abandon the impartiality that the Chair of Council is expected to maintain and undermining the LSE’s commitment to free debate and thought on campus, secured by its own Code of Free Speech.

Students had previously twice protested at the possible presence of Grabiner in the meeting as they feared that his presence would be detrimental to a constructive engagement between students and the School's Governors. So indeed it was.

At the end of the meeting, Grabiner and Davies refused to publish a proposed a joint statement on the LSE website which supported free debate amongst student and academic staff “without intimidation, including on controversial topics such as the proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions.”

The proposed statement also included the recognition that “students everywhere have the right to pursue their education, and recognises that where this right is systematically violated, as in Palestine, students and staff at LSE are free to undertake solidarity actions.” Davies claimed that the proposal constituted a “political statement” despite his open support of Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in the occupation of Palestine.

Grabiner and Davies incorrectly argued that the school has never taken a position on Iraq, Afghanistan and South Africa under apartheid and do not wish to oppose Israel’s violations of Palestinian academic freedom.

This is false, as previously in its history the School’s divested from companies who were heavily operating in Apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s. After the Tiananmen massacre in 1989 the Academic Board voted for a complete suspension of all academic connections with China. Also, just last year LSE backed Students’ Union “proposals for a socially responsible investment policy” that “met both its financial and humanitarian objectives”.[3]

The School also refused to promote a proposed public debate between opponents and supporters of the proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions, although this would have been in the School’s tradition of hosting a wide range of speakers with diverse views on controversial subjects.

Davies however has promised that the LSE will actively reach out to donors to secure funds for a scholarship for Palestinian students and provide institutional support in service of this goal. He also stated that the School will consider supporting existing staff initiatives with Birzeit University in Palestine.

Ziyaad Lunat, a spokesperson for the LSE Students’ Union Palestine Society and a Student Member of Court of Governors said: “LSE continues to mislead its students, staff and alumni thereby protecting Israel and ignoring entirely the plight of Palestinians. Davies’ and Grabiner’s statements condemning debate and their unwillingness to rectify such bias is a disgrace to our School, undermining its international credibility for thousands of students and potential donors across the world.”

A member of LSE academic staff said: “Although, given the financial consequences, no university administration can today be expected to adopt policies critical of Israeli violations of the rights of Palestinians, the LSE administration went beyond that to condemn debate among their staff and students concerning appropriate individual moral and non-violent forms of solidarity. Where all Western governments back the oppressor, only individual moral action remains.”

- End -

Notes for Editors

1. On 30 May 2007 UCU (University and College Union) passed a resolution at its annual congress calling for a debate within the Union about boycotting Israeli universities. The next day LSE’s Director Howard Davies posted a statement on the LSE website condemning the resolution and by implication a free debate on the issue.

LSE students, staff and alumni wrote a joint letter to LSE Director Howard Davies in response to this statement. The letter, signed by most of the LSE Students Union Executive and more than 100 students, staff, alumni and heads of student societies, expressed concern at the Director's apparent opposition to the free expression of opinion. In two subsequent responses (22 June 2007 and 5 September 2007) Davies refused to meet with representatives of the signatories. He also declined to address or recognise the desperate condition of Palestinian academic institutions, stating that the School “has no corporate position” on this matter.

Over 20 LSE students silently occupied a meeting of LSE's governing body for over 30 minutes in protest at LSE Director Howard Davies refusal to meet representatives of students and academic staff (October 30th). Holding up banners stating “Academic Freedom for All” and “Equal Rights for Palestinians”, the students peacefully entered an LSE Council meeting, the monthly meeting of LSE's 25 directors, bringing it to a halt, and reissued a request for a meeting with Davies to discuss the issue, as well as that a statement be displayed on the LSE website recognising the right to education for Palestinians. After lengthy deliberation, and threatening to ask security to forcibly remove the students, Davies and Council Chair, Mr. Grabiner, reluctantly agreed to attend a meeting and that a statement would be issued that acknowledged Palestinians' right to education.

Contact: Ziyaad Lunat

Mobile: 0781 631 96 22



[1] UCU resolution 30: and PACBI call for boycott:

[2] Hansard, Tuesday 12 Jun 2007, Volume No. 692, Part No. 100 -

[3] Minutes of LSE Council, 30th April 2007

James Caspell and Ziyaad Lunat


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The "American Movement for Israel" decides who will get arrested, on this campus:

"Trial starts for woman charged after '06 talk:
Wilkerson charged with obstructing police at lecture"

By Julie Rowe, Daily Staff Reporter

On the Web at:

A trial is set to begin today for an Ann Arbor doctor charged with impeding police and emergency medical technicians after an incident last year in which protesters were arrested after disrupting a lecture in the Michigan League.

Jury selection for the case took place yesterday in 15th District Court.

Prosecutors will try to show that Catherine Wilkerson interfered with the arrest of Blaine Coleman, a protester at the November 2006 event.

Wilkerson's attorneys, Hugh Davis and Wilson Tanner, will assert that Wilkerson was responding to police brutality and harmful treatment of Coleman by an emergency medical technician, Davis said.

The lecture on U.S. foreign policy in Iran, given by Georgetown University Prof. Raymond Tanter, was met with protest from several Ann Arbor residents, who heckled and interrupted Tanter throughout his speech.

Protesters chanted "Hands off Iran" and "Tanter is a pig". Tanter said he abandoned his planned remarks in response to the interruptions and instead answered questions from audience members and protesters.

The protesters were accusing Tanter of being a supporter of unjustified military action in Iran and the Middle East.

Wilkerson is charged with two misdemeanors charges for attempting to assault, obstruct or resist a police officer and an emergency medical technician.

According to the Diane Brown, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, several warnings were issued to the protesters that their interruptions violated the University's policies for protest during a speech.

"No matter how controversial a speaker is, that speaker needs to be able to speak. That's the whole point of freedom of speech," Brown said. "You can't just say 'I don't like what they've got to say.' They must be able to hold their event."

The University's Standard Practice Guide for Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression attempts to balance the rights of speakers and protesters by allowing heckling that does not impede the message of speakers.

After American Movement for Israel Chair Josh Berman and other organizers issued three warnings to protesters, DPS officers attempted to remove one of the female protesters. Coleman attempted to prevent the officers from removing her. Both responded to DPS attempts to remove them by going limp.

Brown told The Michigan Daily after the incident that this is a tactic used frequently by protesters.

The sequence of events following Coleman's removal from the room will be contested at the trial.

During pretrial activities yesterday, Davis said, "There were numerous witnesses outside. Each saw something; almost none saw everything."

In an article Wilkerson submitted to CounterPunch - a political newsletter - she claimed that the DPS officials removed the two from the room by force. Wilkerson said she then left the room to investigate the "commotion" she heard in the hallway.

She said she believed the officer was pinning Coleman to the ground in such a way that would prevent his lungs from inflating. After telling the officer she was a doctor, she instructed him to turn Coleman onto his back. The officer followed her direction.

In the article, Wilkerson said that after Coleman was turned over, she noticed that he was unconscious.

Though Brown would not specifically name Coleman, she disputed the claim that the man lying on the ground was badly hurt.

"One of the people who claimed he was hurt during this whole thing was supposedly laying on the ground receiving medical attention," she said. "But periodically his eye would open up."

After paramedics arrived, police removed Coleman's handcuffs and attempted to revive him. One tactic they tried was the use of ammonia inhalants.

In the article, Wilkerson said that she then told the paramedic: "What you're doing is punitive and has no efficacy."

Wilkerson said she complied with an Ann Arbor police officer's order to step away from Coleman. Wilkerson claimed that as she left, the Ann Arbor officer attacked her from behind and used excessive force to restrain her.

Coleman was taken to the University hospital to treat a cut on his forehead. He and two other protesters were charged with resisting a police officer. All three pled guilty and were sentenced to a fine and probation.

At the end of January, Wilkerson and four other protesters filed a complaint of police brutality with the Ann Arbor Police Department. The Ann Arbor police investigated the incident, but determined that officers didn't respond in an inappropriate manner, the Ann Arbor News reported.

The Washtenaw County prosecutor trying the case, Margaret Connors, declined to comment.



  • Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Why was A.M.I. allowed to command U-M Police?

posted 11/27/07 @ 7:16 AM EST

Why was the American Movement for Israel allowed to "warn", and then hurl the police against, their own audience? When they determined that some audience members were opposed to War on Iran, and opposed to War on Palestine, was A.M.I. justified in getting them forcibly pounded into the floor? That is no way to run this campus.
  • Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

"Drop the charges against Catherine Wilkerson:
a Michigan doctor facing criminal charges
for defending a protester"

As mass sentiment against the U.S. occupation of Iraq continues to grow across the world, many activists on college campuses are experiencing increased police repression and attacks on their First Amendment rights. One of these instances occurred on Nov. 30, 2006, in Ann Arbor, Michigan—home of the University of Michigan.

As a result of that protest, Dr. Catherine Wilkerson, a respected community physician who provides medical care to working-class people at a local clinic, was charged with two crimes stemming from an encounter with local and campus police. On Nov. 26, 2007, her trial is set to begin in Ann Arbor.

The ANSWER Coalition is supporting the efforts of the Committee to Defend Catherine Wilkerson to demand that all charges against her be dropped. Click here to show your support by signing a petition that will be hand delivered to University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie.


Catherine WilkersonDuring a protest against the war on Iraq and threats of war on Iran, University of Michigan police brutalized and arrested three activists. Police tactics included the use of pressure point control tactics. PPCT is a pain compliance tactic that essentially uses painful pressure and manipulation of the body in order to force the victim to comply.

After brutalizing one protester and threatening him with pepper spray directly in the face, the police then pinned him to the ground in a manner that can result in suffocation. As the man groaned in agony, the officer used his knee and his substantial physical bulk to crush the protester's chest, face down against the floor. Between desperate gasps, the man told officers that he could not breathe, and then fell unconscious.

Dr. Wilkerson identified herself as a physician and demanded access to the man in order to examine him and determine if his life was in danger. After much resistance from the police, Dr. Wilkerson was allowed to examine the man and determined that he was still alive. As this was occurring, an ambulance with paramedics, the fire department and the Ann Arbor police arrived on the scene.

Dr. Wilkerson was forcibly kept aside. One of the medics then held a succession of three ammonia inhalants directly under the patient's nose, culminating with cupping his hands over the man's nose while he forced him to inhale the third capsule of the noxious gas. This caused the man to retch and nearly vomit as the medic taunted him, "You don't like that, do you?"

Dr. Wilkerson was outraged by the punitive and dangerous actions of the police and medics. She told the medics, "What you are doing has no efficacy and is punitive, and you know it."

For speaking out, Dr. Wilkerson too was brutalized by the police.

Police grabbed her from behind, wrenched her arms behind her, then slammed her against a wall and held her there as she begged him to release his painful grip. The officer then detained her against her will for a protracted period of time, forcing her to stand in a hallway despite her continued extreme shoulder pain.

Dr. Wilkerson was not arrested at this time, however, as she did not break any laws and was simply attempting to fulfill her ethical obligations as a physician.

Dr. Wilkerson later registered a complaint of police brutality at City Hall. One week after filing her complaint, she was shocked to find a letter in the mail from the county prosecutor informing her that she was being charged with attempted assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer and attempted assaulting/resisting/obstructing a paramedic.

The charges are a blatant example of police retaliation against a respected doctor and community activist for complaining about police misconduct.

Dr. Wilkerson faces jail time and hefty fines if she is convicted. She has refused to take the prosecutor's plea deal because she has done nothing wrong. In fact, her intervention in the police riot prevented possible grave injuries for those attacked by the cops.

Statement from Dr. Wilkerson

From "Scenes from a cop riot" by Dr. Catherine Wilkerson:

When I became a doctor I knew I would encounter a lot of human suffering, but I never envisioned a time when my efforts to alleviate it would get me brutalized by the police, then charged with a crime. I never envisioned a time when I would witness another health "professional" brazenly violate the most fundamental principle of medical ethics: first do no harm. But thirty years after graduation, at a political event on the campus of the University of Michigan, those things happened.

Click here to read Dr. Wilkerson's entire statement.

Take action

All the charges should be dropped on Dr. Wilkerson immediately. Community activists, medical workers and all progressive people should join in this demand. The ANSWER Coalition is supporting the efforts of the Committee to Defend Catherine Wilkerson to demand that all charges against her be dropped.

Click here to show your support by signing a petition that will be hand delivered to University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie.


Brutality of Zionism recognized at University of Michigan

"His book under fire, author speaks at 'U':
"Kovel's book started controversy at University Press"

By Andy Kroll,
Daily Staff Reporter

Bard College Prof. Joel Kovel spoke at Rackham Amphitheatre last night. Kovel is the author of an anti-Zionist book distributed by the University of Michigan Press that sparked controversy earlier this semester. (RODRIGO GAYA/Daily)

Some students wore "Michigan Zionist" T-shirts to protest Bard College Prof. Joel Kovel, who spoke at Rackham Amphitheatre last night. (SAM WOLSON/Daily)


Full article on the Web at:

Before a capacity crowd at Rackham Amphitheatre last night, Joel Kovel, author of the controversial book published by the University Press "Overcoming Zionism," emphasized the importance of protecting critical voices in discussion involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"There is an absolute need for critical voices and not allowing us to succumb to pressures that are trying to stifle open discussion," said Kovel, whose lecture was sponsored by Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, a pro-Palestinian group.

Kovel discussed what he believes is the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is also the focus of "Overcoming Zionism", the creation of a single, secular, democratic state.

Although Kovel, who is a professor of social studies at Bard College, said he'd faced significant resistance and intimidation from pro-Israel organizations like Stand With Us regarding his book's message, he told those in attendance that he felt the momentum shifting away from the "oppressive" Zionist groups.

"I think that (Zionist groups) have overreached themselves and got caught up in promoting a hideous war in Iraq and they're paying for it," Kovel said. "The debacle of Iraq may yet prove to be the opening point for a profound reassessment of the Zionist lobby."

The University of Michigan Press currently distributes Kovel's book as part of its distribution contract with the London-based left-wing publisher Pluto Press.

Although the University halted distribution of the book in August, citing "serious questions" raised by "members of the University community," it resumed distribution of the book a month later.

The University Press is currently facing pressure from several pro-Israel groups - including Stand With Us and the Anti-Defamation League - and several members of the University Board of Regents to terminate its distribution contract with Pluto.

Andrew Dalack, co-chair of SAFE, said his organization brought Kovel to speak at the University in order to counter misinformation circulating on campus regarding Kovel's beliefs and the message in "Overcoming Zionism."

"As an organization dedicated to bringing intelligent information on all sides of this conflict to the campus community, we felt his voice was wanted and desired here on campus," Dalack said.

Jonathan Calt Harris, director of the Michigan chapter of Stand With Us, a pro-Israel organization, described Kovel's comments as typical of the anti-Zionist perspective.

Although Kovel received several standing ovations during his lecture, Harris attributed the author's support to an overly sympathetic and anti-Zionist audience.

"I think he got what we all expected, even though there was no real substance in his speech," Harris said. "It was pretty much a rambling narrative - like his book."

Nick Israel, the Midwest campus coordinator for the Zionist Organization of America, said in an e-mail interview that no matter how much support Kovel received at the lecture, the distribution of his book by the University Press directly contradicts the University's commitment to diversity.

"We cannot allow our campus to become a safe haven for what UM Press Director Phil Pachoda characterized as 'hate-speech' when describing Kovel's book," said Israel, who graduated from the University earlier this year.

Naomi Goldberg, a Public Policy School graduate student, said Kovel's lecture was "amazing" and "brave," but she said was disappointed by the actions of some student groups in the audience.

In particular, Goldberg said those University students in attendance wearing "Michigan Zionist" shirts in the University's colors blatantly misrepresents Jewish students at the University who might not be Zionist.

"By wearing these shirts, they're saying you're either on this side with us or you're not," Goldberg said. "They make it appear as if there's no room for discussion."



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Jonathan Miller

posted 11/27/07 @ 3:42 AM EST

A very good piece. I was intrigued to read that regents are involved in attempting to suppress the university's distribution of Dr Kovel's book. Could you kindly identify them?

Author is too light on Kovel

posted 11/27/07 @ 4:12 AM EST

The article was a bit too sympathetic of anti-semite AND anti-zionist Kovel. Kovel calls for Israel to be gone, which is a point that the author forgot to mention.

Talk about supressing free speech. Naomi Goldberg doesn't like the t-shirts people were wearing? Too bad.


posted 11/27/07 @ 4:14 AM EST

Kovel looks like Golam from The Lord of The Rings in that picture.

Kovel is right

posted 11/27/07 @ 6:37 AM EST

Dr. Kovel spoke, also, of the horrifying atrocities committed against the occupied population of Palestine. Such as Israel soldiers, and their commanders, maiming small children, to habituate the troops to an unspeakably brutal occupation.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

At University of Michigan:

"Nuking Iran wouldn't be a bad idea..."

"Welcome to the Jackboot State, Ann Arbor Division:
"The Ordeal of Catherine Wilkerson, M.D."


November 24 / 25, 2007

On the Web at:

Welcome to the jackboot state, not to mention the jackboot campus, anno domini 2007. A doctor gives verbal advice to protect the life of an unconscious man and she duly gets hit with attempted felonies by vindictive campus cops, with the connivance of the University of Michigan. Jury selection for her trial starts on Monday in a county courthouse in Ann Arbor.

This case began with an on-campus talk about Iran last November 30 by Raymond Tanter, a former Reagan administration foreign policy advisor and nutball cofounder of the Committee on the Present Danger. More recently he's co-founder of the Iran Policy Committee. Tanter has said publicly on more than one occasion that nuking Iran wouldn't be a bad idea.

The audience at November 30 event was lively and contentious. On the campus that Columbia's Lee Bollinger once ran there's an elaborate policy about free speech, but those precepts were promptly flouted. As is now the fashion at many universities, the U of M campus guards are gun-toting goons who decided to wade in aggressively at the behest of the event's organizers.

Here's how Wilkerson described what happened next, on this site on March 13 of this year.

I heard a commotion in the hall and stepped out of the room. In the hall I saw the same huge cop on top of the second protester who'd come to the first victim's aid. The cop had the man, a relatively small guy in his forties, pinned down, arms pulled behind his back, getting handcuffed. The cop used PPCT against this person also, not once but twice. The man writhed and cried out in pain.

The cop used his far-greater strength and body weight, along with the force of his knee on his victim's back to press his chest against the floor. It would be impossible for a person to inflate his lungs pressed against the floor with his hands cuffed behind his back like that. Asphyxiation being a well-known cause of death of people in custody, when the man started calling out that he couldn't breathe, I approached, identified myself as a doctor, and instructed the cop to turn him over immediately. The victim went limp. The cop turned him onto his back. I saw that the victim had a wound on his forehead and blood in his nostrils. He was unconscious. Reiterating numerous times that I was a doctor, I tried to move to where I could assess the victim for breathing and a pulse. The cop shoved me, until finally, after my imploring him to allow me to render medical care to the victim, he allowed me to determine that the victim was alive. But he refused to remove the cuffs despite my requests. A person lying with hands cuffed beneath his body risks nerve damage to the extremities and, moreover, cannot be resuscitated. I continually re-assessed the man, who had now become my patient, and who remained unconscious.

Eventually an ambulance arrived, along with the fire department and a contingent of Ann Arbor police officers. While the paramedics went about their business, the first thing being to have the cop un-cuff the patient, I tried to fulfill my obligation to my patient. I tried to oversee what the paramedics were doing, which, contrary to protocol and the normal relationship between physician and paramedic, was all that I was allowed to do. I was forced to stay away. What I witnessed in the course of their treatment appalled me. When the patient didn't respond to a sternal rub, one of the paramedics popped an ammonia inhalant and thrust it beneath the patient's nostrils. If you're interested in what's wrong with that, google Dr. Bryan Bledsoe, foremost authority on paramedicine, and read his article condemning this dangerous practice. That it's "just bad medicine" is sufficient to make the paramedic's actions unacceptable, but what happened next made my blood curdle. He popped a second inhalant and a third, then cupped his hands over the patient's nostrils to heighten the noxious effect. "You don't like that, do you?" he said.

At that point I issued a direct medical order for him to stop, but he ignored me. "What you're doing is punitive," I said, "and has no efficacy." Then as the patient retched, rather than rolling him onto his side to avoid the chance of his choking on his own vomit, a firefighter held his feet down and yelled, "don't spit." In thirty years of doctoring, I have never witnessed such egregious maltreatment of a patient. Again I spoke up, "this is punitive." I hoped to shame the paramedical into stopping his unethical behavior."

Please note that at no point did Wilkerson do anything other than offer verbal advice.

The police--by now not just campus but also city cops were on the scene -- ordered her to leave. As she was doing so, a city cop seized her and put her under arrest. His superiors soon determined there were no grounds for arrest and she was released without having been handcuffed or requested to produce ID.

Wilkerson has made her career serving low-income patients. For the last 5 to 6 years she's worked at a community medical clinic. She takes the U.S. Constitution seriously and filed a complaint about the incident alleging police misconduct. It took seven weeks for the cops to answer the charges, which they did by the expedient of filing a report plump with mendacity about Wilkerson's conduct the night of the arrests. The Washtenaw County Prosecutor, Brian Mackie, at the apparent request of the UM police, charged her with two attempted felonies based on "attempted interference" with the police officer who had seized her.

Her attorney, civil rights lawyer Buck Davis, tells me that that county judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines recently threw out two subsequent charges, claiming that Wilkerson had tried to interfere with the campus police as well as the police officer.

This coming week Wilkerson faces jury trial at the 15th District Court in Ann Arbor. Wilkerson's lawyers will bring in eyewitnesses to the events on November 30, 2006, plus expert witnesses including Brian Bledsoe, a Texas attorney who has testified in cases across the country on the use of ammonia. (Ammonia was involved in the death of Martin Lee Anderson at a juvenile 'boot camp' detention facility in Florida.)

Buck Davis tells me that "ten or fifteen years ago this case would have been a slam dunk, on First Amendment and medical privilege arguments, with no physical contact with the cops, all in liberal Ann Arbor." Wilkerson would have been swiftly acquitted.

"But now people are scared to death. They know the social system is falling apart. They no longer have a generous spirit. I've learned that the erosion of the economic and social fabric means people want to believe the cops. They're frightened. So I'm not as arrogant about 'slam dunk' cases as I once was."

The case will probably run all week, except Thursday. If you can, show up in court to support Catherine Wilkerson.

Learn more at or sign the petition at


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Israel trained torturers for the Shah, and equipped his forces

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--Excerpts from Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi's book, "The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms, and Why"

(Currently available from publisher I B Tauris & Co Ltd.;
1850430691;ISBN-13: 978-1850430698)

(Published in the U.S. by Pantheon Books, in 1987, as "The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms, and Why").


Since Lumumba's murder, Israel has heavily supported the most murderous forces in the Congo:

From Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi's book, "The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms, and Why"

(Currently available from publisher I B Tauris & Co Ltd.;
1850430691;ISBN-13: 978-1850430698)

(Published in the U.S. by Pantheon Books, in 1987, as "The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms, and Why")--

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Genocide against the Congo: Millions Dead...

...while Zionists campaign to intervene in the Sudan:

Behind the Scenes: Warlords’ Deadly Battle in Congo Print E-mail
Written by Keith Harmon Snow
Thursday, 09 August 2007

Published in "TOWARD FREEDOM"
On the Web at:

Kabila's GuardsThe "four-day war" that rocked Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo from March 22-26, 2007 was called a "cleaning" by insiders. Everyone knew it was going to happen, the United Nations Observers Mission in Congo (MONUC) did nothing to stop it and the death count was significantly under-reported. The realities behind the scenes remain cloaked by the international media and world institutions, and the big losers, yet again, are the Congolese people. This is the inside story.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is today both the richest and poorest country in the world. First robbed of its rubber and ivory (1890-1908) by Belgium’s King Leopold—whose enterprise of slavery claimed ten million Congolese lives but was masked by a humanitarian "anti-slavery" propaganda campaign—the plunder of the Congo was advanced by Belgian colonial interests from 1908 to "independence" on June 30, 1960.

Following a coup d’etat orchestrated in part by Israeli American Maurice Tempelsman and his corporate allies, the country emerged from the first Congo crises (1960-1967) with U.S.-backed Colonel Joseph Mobutu installed as President. [See Dr. David Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crises, University of Chicago Press, 1991.]

Mobutu and his corporate partners plundered Congo from 1965 to 1996, and many of the same "untouchables" of the Mobutu era—Maurice Tempelsman, Etienne Davignon, George Forrest, the Blattners—are plundering Congo today.

The Pentagon backed the overthrow of Mobutu in 1996-1997. This invasion was led by Rwanda and Uganda, backed by the U.S., Canada, U.K., Belgium and Israel. Washington’s support of the overthrow had to do with corporate interests in the region. International businesses wanted to reorganize the power structure in the region to better exploit the Congo's riches and displace deeply entrenched competitors. By July 1996, Mobutu was negotiating with George H.W. Bush over Barrick Gold interests in Zaire's Kilo Moto goldfields and for Adolph Lundin interests in copper/cobalt in Katanga. The invasion of Zaire swung into action after Paul Kagame visited the Pentagon in August 1996.

Congolese "rebel" warlords like Jean-Pierre Bemba, Azarias Ruberwa, Arthur Zahidi Ngoma, and Mbusa Nyamwisi fought against the seat of power in Kinshasa held by Laurent Kabila (1998-2001) and then Joseph Kabila, his purported son. Multinational corporations, criminal networks and regional governments backed "rebel" and "government" forces—often both—and all sides committed massive atrocities. Billions of dollars in plantation commodities, minerals and timber exited Congo during the war were shipped to Western markets.

As the Congo "peace process" unfolded, Jean-Pierre Bemba became one of four warlords rewarded with a vice-presidency in DRC’s transitional government (2003-2006); sworn in on July 17, 2003, he held the Finance and Economic portfolio. Bemba was one of five significant challengers to the transitional president, Joseph Kabila, in the 2006 elections, which fielded 33 presidential candidates. Bemba believes himself Congo’s savior and rightful leader, and he provoked hostilities, riots and parliamentary chaos throughout the transition, elections and post-elections periods.

Behind the machinations of power in Congo lie hundreds of billions of dollars to be made in exploiting Congo’s riches in the next decade alone. From 1996-2007, despite multiple peace accords, some six to ten million people died in Congo’s wars.


Zionists train shock troops, to strangle the Congo

June 2007
Volume 20 Number 6



"Blood Diamond: Double Think & Deception, Part 1 :
"Naming the players behind the scenes"

printer friendly version

By keith harmon snow & Rick Hines


On the Web at:

...Where Do Diamonds Come From?

Belgian-born Maurice Tempelsman has a long and bloody history in Africa. When Congo’s first premier, Patrice Lumumba, pledged to return diamond wealth to the newly independent Congo in the early 1960s, Tempelsman, who began with De Beers in the 1950s, helped engineer the coup that consolidated the dictatorship of 29-year-old Colonel Mobutu, as well as the coup against Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah. Diamonds were at stake in each of these coups.

“I believe this was the beginning of what we now know of as conflict diamonds in the Congo,” says blood diamond expert Janine Roberts. “From then on diamonds would be extensively used to discreetly fund wars, coups, repression, and dictatorships in Africa.” According to Roberts, “Tempelsman’s role in the confluence of public policy and private profit as a middleperson for the De Beers diamond cartel may have shaped every major U.S. covert action in Africa since the early 1950s. Declassified memos and cables between former U.S. presidents and State Department officials over the last four decades directly linked Tempelsman to the destabilization of Zaire/Congo, Sierra Leone, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Rwanda and Ghana.”


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni meets with mining tycoon Tony Buckingham (far right)—photo courtesy of New Vision newspaper, Kampala

For over 35 years Maurice and his son Leon Tempelsman worked the diamond connection behind the repression of Mobutu Sese Seko and his Israeli-trained shock troops. Now, 47 years later, the Tempelsman empire remains rock solid behind three companies: Leon Tempelsman & Sons, De Beers, and LKI (which supplies Tiffany & Co. and Cartier). A client of Adlai Stevenson’s law firm during the first Congo crises (1960-1970), Tempelsman later hired Lawrence Devlin, a CIA station chief responsible for covert operations in Katanga, to maintain the Mobutu diamond/cobalt connections into the late 1980s. In 2002 Tempelsman offered Namibia’s President Sam Nujoma an $80 million interest free “loan” to bridge Namibia’s budgetary shortfall against future sales of Namibia’s gemstones.

Tempelsman is the deep pockets of many U.S. politicians, donating to the campaigns of John Kerry (D); Ed Royce (R); Tom Daschle (D); Barack Obama (D); Maxine Waters (D); John Rockefeller (D); Richard Gephardt (D); Howard Wolpe (D); and Patrick (D) and Edward Kennedy (D). He also contributed to the 1988 win of George H. W. Bush. Tempelsman exploited ties with Anthony Lake, Clinton’s National Security adviser, who intervened at the U.S. Export-Import Bank on Tempelsman’s behalf.

Tempelsman contributed some $500,000 to Clinton for president and he is currently backing Hillary. He traveled at Clinton’s side on the 1998 presidential Africa tour...


Mines & Communities Website

"How US Foreign Policy over decades was influenced by the Diamond Cartel:

"Maurice Tempelsman: The Convergence of Policy and Profit in Private"

On the Web at:

Excerpt from statements which were introduced by U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, on April 16, 2001:

The Secret Story Behind Blood Diamonds

Statement by Janine Farrell Roberts

[The author of "Blood Stained Diamonds"]:

I have been asked to talk about Tempelsman's role in the confluence of public policy and private profit that happens in private. He is an excellent example. I have time only to summarise my findings.

Why was he uniquely important in the De Beers? In the 1940s De Beers was indicted by the US Justice Department for price fixing under the Sherman Act. The US also believed De Beers had rationed the supply of tool diamonds to the US during the Second World War severely damaging the war effort. It was determined never to let this happen again, and legislation was thus passed to set up a national diamond stockpile. De Beers needed a way to ensure it was the source of this stockpile despite being indicted. It sought a middleman to do the deals with the US. Early in the 1950s Tempelsman met with the Oppenheimers who rule De Beers and became this middleman. He was uniquely supplied with millions of diamonds to sell the US as its strategic reserve. Most of these diamonds came from the Congo.

The Congo

When Lumumba, Congo's first elected leader, spoke of using the Congo's resources to benefit the Congo. De Beers feared it would lose access to the one third of world's diamond supply in the Congo - as would also Tempelsman. Shortly after this, the CIA facilitated Lumumba's assassination. Evidence on this came before the Church Intelligence Commission. Immediately after Lumumba's death, the Acting Prime Minister of the Congo, Adoula announced support for a very major Tempelsman diamond deal, telegramming this to President Kennedy. The historian Richard Mahoney claimed that the Adoula regime was receiving funds from Tempelsman.

A State Department memo, headed "Congo Diamond Deal", stated:

"The State Department has concluded that it is in the political interest of the US to implement this proposal." (2 August 1961) Immediately after Mobutu came to power, Tempelsman became an even bigger player in the Congo - recruiting his own staff from those CIA staffers that Mobutu most favored that put him in power. Mobutu also at this time gave Tempelsman, as a "Christmas Gift", rich mineral reserves.

According to Tempelsman's staff we interviewed, they had a wonderful time helping to run the Congo. One of the first acts by Tempelsman was to facilitate the return of the Oppenheimers to the Congo - and to secure funding for Mobutu. He succeeded in persuading the White House to secretly buy a vast number of diamonds for the US strategic reserve - at a time when Administration officials were protesting that the reserve was over full. The reason for this deal given in secret US government memos was to support Mobutu and his partner Adoula. This Tempelsman plan made much profit for him and for De Beers.

A State Department Cable of 23 December 1964 warned about the need of secrecy over this Mobutu diamond and South African uranium deal because;"it could outrage the moderate Africans we are trying to calm down." It suggested South African Foreign Minister Muller would understand the need for secrecy since the US was "doing a job" in the Congo that South Africa could not do. This covert support for Mobutu gave the US a gross excess in the strategic diamond stockpile that was still being sold off in 1997.

In 1967 the State Department reported; "Tempelsman is playing an increasingly central role as GDRC (Congo's) technical advisor and mediator." But these deals and other deals done throughout the following decades with a corrupt Mobutu government left the Congolese people in absolute poverty.

Ghana In the late 1950s democracy arrived in Africa with the election of President Nkrumah - who thought Black Africans should not have to sell diamonds to an apartheid company - so took Ghana's diamonds from the cartel. A short while later, the State Department wrote a furious letter to Maurice Tempelsman saying that his office, by using an unguarded phone line, had betrayed the identity of the plotters against Nkrumah and the identity of the CIA Head of Station. The plotters seemingly were communicating to the White House via Tempelsman's office. (Memorandum for the President from WW Rostow, 24 September 1961) Tempelsman clearly had advanced knowledge of this coup attempt. Shortly afterwards President Kennedy decided not to "downgrade" (his word) Tempelsman for this error.

Sierra Leone Tempelsman worked out a new diamond contract for President Stevens - under which Tempelsman got 27% of the country's diamonds - setting up an independent cutting factory - and De Beers bought shares in it. However it was not set up to compete effectively. I have gathered ample evidence that historically Sierra Leone has been grossly exploited by fraudulent De Beers' practices which I would be happy to give during question time.

Angola In recent years Tempelsman has been trying to use US money and support to set up Savimbi of UNITA in the diamond trade with both De Beers the US support. On the side, he has also been setting up his own diamond cutting factory - here as in his other African cutting plants on terms that are likely to stop Africa getting a fully commercial cutting industry - a De Beers aim.

Tempelsman in 1996 persuaded the Assistant Secretary of State George E Moose to give him a letter suggesting that the US would finance Tempelsman's plans. On October 10th 1996 he met with Tony Lake the National Security Advisor and with Lake's deputy, Shawn McCormick - and gained their support for Tempelsman's plans. In May 1997 the US Ambassador for Angola, Steinbach met with Savimbi - to back the Tempelsman plan. This plan included UNITA keeping its diamond mines - and selling them via De Beers. Again US foreign policy was being shaped to benefit De Beers.