26 April 2007

leo dicaprio, conflict diamonds, and...us...

so last evening our local amnesty chapter hosted a screening of the leo dicaprio, djimon hounsou, jennifer connelly feature movie blood diamond and i gotta tell ya it's a pretty damn good movie...dicaprio plays a modern day sydney carton character (tale of two cities) who redeems himself pretty well albeit hollywood style...

unfortunately conflict diamonds are still driving violence, especially in sierra leone, sudan, and angola, and there remains over 300,000 children soldiers involved in these conflicts...and that's the saddest aspect of this particular human rights crisis marring the african continent...

so before the movie i took a few moments to send an online letter to my federal rep and senator (and printed out letters for the attendees to sign and mail) and already received this response from representative jim cooper (d), 5th congressional district tennessee:

April 25, 2007

Mr. tn_dude
Nashville, Tennessee 37216

Dear Mr. Dude:

Thanks for getting in touch with me about your concerns with the trade in conflict diamonds. I agree that it is important to recognize the relationship between high-value, easily extracted resources-including diamonds-and the funding of armed groups in many developing nations. This problem is especially acute in Africa, where long-running conflicts in Sierra Leone and Congo are fueled by money from the illicit trade in diamonds. In addition to the millions of deaths and human rights violations produced by these conflicts, these wars threaten to create large, ungoverned areas of Africa where terrorist organizations could thrive. These lawless areas are a direct threat to every American's security, and it is critical that the United States take steps to end these conflicts.

I strongly support the Kimberly Process to control the illicit trade of diamonds, and I look forward to passage of legislation by Congress to implement appropriate international trade controls. I appreciate your concerns on this important issue. If you have further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.


Jim Cooper
Member of Congress
if you're reading this letter you have time to learn more about conflict diamonds and to take action here, doncha'???

peace out <3

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