The long journey through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Section 1502 in the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act has come to an end. A 3-2 vote adopted the provision that will force mining companies to detail their operations in conflict regions.
For consumers, this means that large electronics companies will be put on the spot to show that they are sourcing their minerals from conflict-free sources. The section has elicited a very strong debate and neither side was very happy with the final decision on Wednesday.
Supporters of the bill say it is a way to reduce the power of armed militias in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. If companies are unable to trade in conflict regions the areas will be forces to make changes in order to enjoy the benefits of international mineral trade. The decline in power will provide more safety for the people who have been brutalized for years.
The movement “Occupy Wall Street” clearly has gone global, even as many in the movement — and, to some extent, the mainstream media — struggle to clearly define its mission and message. As organizers told USA Today, public demonstrations allow for lots of freedom of expression.
So it can be dangerous to try to define the now-global “Occupy” movement. It doesn’t seem to just be about Wall Street anymore. Is it political, or more accurately a rejection of politics? Will this be the Western World’s Arab Spring (leading to dramatic change across many countries)? Or more limited in its impact, like the Seattle WTO protests of 1999?
Nobody knows. Here at Humanosphere, we keep a daily watch on efforts to fight global inequity, poverty, injustice and the diseases of the poor. Whether it’s Occupy Seattle, Occupy Vancouver, or any of the smaller Occupy protests — they are each one moon of many orbiting what appears to be a rapidly growing constellation of moral outrage. We’ve got our telescopes out (using the “Storify” tool below to follow what others are saying): Continue reading