Who is Charles Taylor?
From 1989 to 1997, Charles Taylor, who escaped mysteriously from a U.S. prison, was the leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), a rebel group that fought in Liberia to overthrow the government of Samuel K. Doe.
From 1997 to 2003, Taylor was the neocolonial democratic president of Liberia. In August 2003, based on an agreement with African heads of state, Taylor left office after rebel forces had come close to entering the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
He was granted political asylum in Nigeria. In March 2006, Taylor was betrayed by Obasanjo of Nigeria, who transferred him to the white people’s Special Court in Sierra Leone, on the premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Now, Naomi Campbell, an African woman and fashion supermodel, who is not even part of the structured neocolonial leadership, is being asked to testify at a war crimes tribunal against Charles Taylor, a neocolonial stooge, who was put in power by the United States in 1994. This is cynicism raised to its highest level.
According to The Observer newspaper “The former dictator is accused of selling diamonds to fund a bloodthirsty war that cost thousands of lives.” It was one of these uncut diamonds that Taylor is alleged to have given the supermodel.
Why Naomi Campbell? Why don’t they go after the hundreds of big time blood diamonds traders?
First of all, Naomi Campbell does not have a power base. She does not have an ideological and analytical critique of imperialism. Naomi’s struggle has always been against racism — the right to work on an equal basis with or to be treated like white models. On a personal level that is a struggle she has experienced.
The issue of diamonds goes deeper than the struggle against racism. It is the struggle against parasitic capitalism, the foundation of modern capitalism. In parasitic capitalism, Europe and other imperialist entities neither pay for the real value of African labor or the real value of our raw materials.
The actress Mia Farrow was a guest at the same dinner party where Taylor allegedly gave diamonds to Campbell. Farrow has claimed that Campbell told her she was interrupted in the middle of the night by some men saying they were representatives of Taylor before handing over a "huge diamond."
According to the July 4, 2010 edition of The Observer, Carole White, Campbell's agent at the time, says that she witnessed the event. "I was there,” she says, speaking from the London headquarters of Premier Model Management, the company that she founded and that represented Campbell for 17 years. "He did give it to her. It was a small, uncut diamond. I am totally surprised that Naomi hasn't admitted it."
Some members of the press have always had disdain and contempt for African people. They never liked any African who exposed and fought racism. This is an opportunity for them to vilify Naomi Campbell.
Steve Pope, editor of The Voice, the weekly newspaper aimed at Britain's black community, says that Campbell is a pioneer. "It has always been an unspoken rule that if you're a fashion magazine editor and you put a black model on the cover, you lose sales. Naomi turned that around and showed that, if you put her on the cover, if anything it would boost sales. Unlike some other models who have kept quiet about discrimination, she has actually started speaking out about it.”
Whether Taylor gave Naomi a rough diamond or not, the truth is that no diamond from Africa has been bought or sold for its real value.
The workers who mined that diamond have not been paid the real value of their labour, and African diamonds have never been exported with the consent of African people, because Africans have not been free anytime during the last 500 years.
We have to be free in order to have legitimate trade in diamonds and other minerals in Africa.
Using Naomi Campbell and other black clerks and judges gives this court a semblance of legitimacy and fairness.
The reality is that it is a white court, a colonial court to coerce and dissuade the African petty bourgeoisie to be loyal to the Western imperialist agenda. Colonialism is a crime against humanity.
So is neocolonialism. Imperialism knows it. They can bring any Negro to their court.
They do not need to go to Naomi to find out where the blood diamonds are.
All diamonds that have come out of Africa since the time of Cecil Rhodes up to the present time are blood diamonds! Diamonds from Sierra Leone, Congo, Liberia, Guinea and Zimbabwe are all blood diamonds.
All of them are obtained at the expense of African lives, liberty, dignity and our future.
If the tribunal was serious and legitimate, they should be after the big imperialist companies that legally exploit African diamonds.
De Beers should be the first to stand trial for blood diamonds. De Beers is the continuation of Cecil Rhodes, the British imperialist who initiated the “trade” in blood diamonds by massively killing Africans before stealing our land.
Where does the African diamond go?
Diamond companies in Israel that exploit our resources include: Waldman Diamond Company WDC Group; Ubex Diamonds; M. Schnitzer & Co.; Lustig Brothers Ltd.; G.N.N. Diamonds; Gembel Ltd.; Moti Ganz Diamonds; Flanders Diamond (Israel); Espeka Israel Ltd.; Belisdiam Ltd.; Avnit Diamonds and Apple Diamonds Ltd.
At the Belgium Diamond centre, you will find our diamonds at: Diamex Manufacturing N.V.; K. Einhorn Diamonds; Gembel N.V.; Kay Diamonds N.V.; Lustig Brothers Belgium N.V.; Shivani Gems Inc and Ubex Diamonds.
The African diamond also ends up in China, Japan, India, Canada, the U.S. and other imperialist centers.
De Beers, which has a near monopoly of the diamond trade, was involved in the war in Sierra Leone.
The tribunal should be after the British government that armed African children, known as “child soldiers,” in the war in Sierra Leone.
They should be after Tony Blair who sent mercenaries into Sierra Leone. Of course, they should be after the United States, who put Taylor in power in Liberia, in the first place.
Taylor is a U.S. mercenary, who allegedly escaped from U.S. prisons and was put in power in Liberia to advance U.S. interests. "I am calling it my release because I didn't break out," Taylor, 61, told the Special Court for Sierra Leone of the episode that has long been alleged to have been orchestrated by the US government. "I did not pay any money. I did not know the guys who picked me up. I was not hiding (afterwards)," Taylor testified in The Hague.
Taylor was allowed to do things that imperialism does to Africans — kill, rape, mutilate, etc…
Why don’t we assume from the picture taken at a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa that Taylor gave diamonds to everyone, not just Naomi Campbell. This would include Mia Farrow and Nelson Mandela too!
According to Global Witness, a British charity that played some role in establishing the “Kimberley Process” — which is nothing less than another free pass for parasitic capitalism in the diamond trade — “From our point of view, the link between diamonds and the conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia is irrefutable," said Amy Barry, Executive Director of Global Witness.
"Hopefully today's testimony will strengthen the case against Taylor and move us one step closer to justice and some sort of reparation for the victims of his violence.”
This is madness! What about the link between British, American, Israeli and Belgium imperialism, that has committed massacres of African people and lootings of diamonds and other minerals in Africa?
We need to build our own International Tribunal to bring imperialism and their African collaborators to our trial.
This is a call to Naomi Campbell. If she hates being in those white colonial courts, she should consider supporting the court of the oppressed, the court of the African working class, which is the only court of people of integrity. No one from the African petty bourgeoisie will come to her defense.