An Invitation from Diane Wilson to Join Her Fight for the Victims of Bhopal
At midnight on December 2, 1984, deadly toxins leaked from a badly run Union Carbide (now wholly owned by Dow Chemicals) plant in Bhopal, engulfing half a million of India's poor in the world's worst-ever industrial disaster. In hours, a historic city became a gas chamber. As dawn broke, some 8,000 dead were strewn across the city's streets in postures of agony.
That was 18 years ago. You'd think that by now the survivors would have received proper medical care, that they'd have been adequately compensated for their loss and their suffering, that somebody would have had to answer in court for what was done to them.
On all counts, you'd be wrong.
Dow-Carbide, one of the world's largest corporations, forced a "settlement" with the Indian government that gave the survivors "compensation" of a maximum of $500 each -- many received less -- not even enough to cover the cost of simple medicines.
Thirty people still die every month from the effects of the gas. Meanwhile the drinking water of the very same communities that were hit in 1984 is being poisoned by cancer- and birth-defect causing chemicals that lie in the open in the derelict factory, or were dumped on waste ground by the company for up to 10 years after the accident.
On July 17, the Indian government applied to reduce charges against Warren Anderson, the Union Carbide CEO at the time of the disaster-the same man who has been refusing to answer the court's summons for 11 years. The court's judgment will be given on August 27. If the charges are diluted it will reduce the deaths of 20,000 people and the 18 years' suffering of the survivors to the status of a car accident and virtually end hopes of ever getting just compensation for the victims. On June 28, the victims began a hunger strike in India, which I joined July 17 to force Dow Chemicals to accept its liabilities for the Bhopal disaster. Hundreds around the world have joined me.
Here are things you can do to join us:
1. Join me outside Dow Chemicals, Seadrift, Texas, on Aug. 15 at 1pm to demand Dow clean up its mess in Bhopal and Seadrift, bring your own broom. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details and all press inquires.
2. On the morning of Aug. 14 hold a vigil and protest outside your nearest Indian embassy or consulate.
3. Call Dow headquarters in Michigan at (800) 232-2436 demanding that Dow accept its liabilities and clean up its mess in Bhopal.
4. Demonstrate outside your nearest Dow facility.
5. Join me in the worldwide hunger strike.
6. Sign the electronic petition addressed to the Indian government or raise your own and send to your nearest Indian embassy.
7. Alert your local media and pass this message on to your friends.
8. Contribute to fund the worldwide relay hunger strikes and ongoing action. In India contact email@example.com for details of how to do this. In the U.S. contact Jodie.
9. Let us know what you are doing and if you are interested in joining any of the international actions. For more information, flyers, banners and answers to your questions go to bhopal.net.