25th Anniversary Resource Kit >> Actions >> HOW TO ORGANIZE A DIE-IN

25th Anniversary Kit >> Actions [doc][pdf]  >> Die In [doc][pdf]


There will be over a hundred actions happening all over the world on the December 3, 2009 Day of Action.  Here in North America, we’re asking anyone who wants to organize an action to consider planning a die-in.  That way we will have a cohesive story to tell Dow and the Media about the coordinated actions happening all across North America. 

Bhopal survivors staged this Die-in at the Chennai Dow office in 2009

What is a Die-in All about?

A die-in is a classic non-violent direct action, which has been used in many movements, from Bhopal to ending the way in Iraq.  For this action, the organizers will gather as many people as you can in a public location and at a pre-determined time, all participants fall to the ground “dead” for 5 to 10 minutes. White shrouds can be used to symbolize the victims of the Bhopal Disaster, many of whom were buried in white shrouds on the night of December 3, 1984.  Afterwards, you should hold a community meeting to inform people about the disaster in Bhopal, as well as local environmental issues, and to get more people involved with the movement. Consider including speakers, music, survivor testimonials, poetry readings, and candle-lighting.

A possible schedule for your Day of Action could be:

  • 11:45am – Gather at a convenient central location with open space (this could be indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather.
  • 12:03pm – The Die-in.  Determine how long the action will last ahead of time.  Make sure to plan enough time for media to take photos, but don’t expect people to lay down for too long.
  • 12:20-12:30pm – distribute fliers and collect postcards
  • 12:30-1:30pm – invite everyone who comes to the action to join you for lunch near by to discuss Bhopal and related local environmental issues. 

Things to keep in mind:

  • Other community organizations working on similar issues will be a great means of getting more people to participate and to get them involved.  It would be a good idea to contact them and see if they would be willing to take part in the event.
  • The community meeting should focus on Bhopal as well as about local environmental justice issues.  In the materials section, you can find talking points about Bhopal.  In this meeting, you should also inspire people to join local  Bhopal movements and to organize their own action ideas.
  • If you want to use shrouds at the die-in, make sure to let people know to bring white sheets to the action. You might want to have a few extra sheets.  The shrouds will make an excellent visual for media, and for the www.studentsforbhopal.org website.

Organizing a die-in will take planning and coordination.  There are a ton of action planning toolks, materials, and resources in this toolkit. Make sure to see the action planning checklist and materials section.

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