On Thursday night, diamond billionaire Lev Leviev, a gaggle of socialites, and members of (quasi) elite social networking group A Small World gathered at Leviev’s Madison Avenue boutique to, as organisers put it, “Buck the Recession with Champagne & Diamonds.” Inside the store, sparkling wine and jewelry may have been the focus, but outside, a small but vocal group of protesters drew attention to Leviev’s human-rights abuses.
Chanting “Stop the Human Rights Abuse,” members of Middle-Eastern justice group Adalah-NY tried to raise awareness of the violent behaviour by Angolan authorities towards diamond miners that Leviev reportedly condones and his building of Jewish settlements in Palestine, which Adalah-NY opposes. Even though there were only a handful of protesters (we counted five but a post-event press release from Adalah-NY said there were 10 in attendance), they may still have made an impact.
“I think people should know that when they associate with people who abuse human rights, that people are watching,” said Adalah-NY’s Alexis Stern. “You can’t just associate with human-rights abusers and have it go unnoticed.”
Indeed, most of the coverage of the event has focused on the protest. While Stern said that no one turned away because of the protest, she said only 10 people went into the party during its first 45 minutes and that of that small group, a few did take the flyers Adalah-NY was distributing.
Photo from Adalah-NY
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