Massachusetts Daily Collegian

‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Collegian File Photo

John Prendergast gave a talk, “Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers” to students, faculty and community members on Feb. 16 in the campus center.

Prendergast is a human rights activist, author and the founder of the Enough Project, a nonprofit organization that fights to stop genocide and crimes against humanity in Africa.

Prendergast has done vast amounts of work and research focusing on peace in Africa.

“Genocide is one of the world’s gravest crimes…eliminating a group of people based on their identity,” Prendergast said, emphasizing the fact that this is a daily reality for many groups in Africa, specifically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kleptocrats such as Mobutu Sese Seko, the former leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, profited heavily from this economic exploitation of minerals.

“Kleptocracies use tools of oppression like killing journalists and obstruct humanitarian aid,” Prendergast said.

There are armed rebel groups who also profit from these conflict minerals, by exploiting the mining areas and selling them on the international market. This segued into Prendergast’s’ segment on the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative.

Prendergast explained that minerals like tungsten, tin, tantalum and gold are all very sought after, as these are crucial in the development of electronics that we enjoy every day. However, the companies that produce these electronics such as Intel and Apple aren’t tracking where these conflict minerals are coming from.

He expressed his grief with the lack of effective sanctions and overall lack of support from the international community, and said that we should use a new approach to this problem, such as organizing together.

“There are people’s movements that gained traction and started cascading and things change. These things alter the course of human history,” Prendergast said, noting that the University of Massachusetts was one of the first schools to stand against apartheid.

He stressed that young people, especially students, are targeted by electronics marketing. Therefore, these students should be gathering and coming together to demand conflict-free minerals.

Prendergast is confident that companies will respond to their biggest consumer market and change their practices.

Tim Conceison, a sophomore majoring in operations and information management, said he came to the talk because these issues are something he has been interested in since high school. He is also a member of the student government and is going to share the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative with his peers during their next meeting.

Angelese Revaleon can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    UMass residence director criticized for email urging student to take down ‘F*** Nazis’ sign

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    Design Building awarded LEED Gold certification

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    Student activists demand Board of Trustees to recognize student debt crisis

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    UMass President Marty Meehan to work with alums and state to lower tuition

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    Six weeks after Pittsburgh, Hillel’s Rabbi Fine reflects

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    SGA endorses letter of recommendation for racial justice practices on campus

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    Homophobic and anti-Semitic incidents took place in Baker Hall last week

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    The Collegian News Hour S2 E9: Semester Recap: Protests, top stories and police logs

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    CCPH deals with a changing mental health landscape on college campuses

  • ‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass

    Archives

    UMass embraces winter with a Holiday Market

Navigate Right