On Friday April 7, 2006, nearly a dozen of us gathered outside the New York Consulate of the Indian Government to demand that the Indian Government address the six demands the Bhopalis have made with their March to Delhi.
The demonstration included AID members from as far away as Baltimore and Washington DC, as well as people from New Jersey, upstate New York, and Michigan. All converged at the 59th & Lexington subway stop for a six-block minimarch to the consulate.
The march was led by the “Dow Grim Reaper” and the “Indian Government”, walking together arm-in-arm and taunted by the chant:
Dow and the Government, sittin’ in a tree
First comes BLOOD, then comes DENIAL,
Then comes Dow absconding from trial!
Nirveek from AID and Hannah from Amnesty were quickly allowed into the consulate once they realized they were from the noisy protest downstairs. Both met with PC Sasi Kumar, the Head of Chancery. Mr. Kumar was respectful and sympathetic, understood the situation and the Bhopalis demands. He accepted a petition and a copy of the Amnesty International report on Bhopal, and agreed to pass on our concerns to the Government in Delhi.
Meanwhile the protest outside was in full force. Chants like “Research, health care, water, more: this is what we’re fighting for!” “No Justice? NO BUSINESS!” and “Invite Dow to India? NO WAY!” were joined by chanting in Hindi and Tamil, and loudly reverberated up and down the narrow street. The demonstrators were also treated to a skit performance: Dow and the Indian Government dancing and prancing in circles, utterly in love, outside the Indian Consulate.
Coordinator, Students for Bhopal