CACIM DELHI DEMOS BULLETIN 13 : Day of reckoning; updates on solidarity actions and possibilities

From New Delhi, Monday, April 10, 2006
Today, Monday, April 10 2006, is something of a day of reckoning for both the Narmada and Bhopal dharnas going on in New Delhi.
On the hand (and on one side of the road where the two demos are camped), people are waiting for news from the government, following the return to Delhi of the government fact finding team 2-3 days ago. It is now, or never, that the government has to take a position on the questions of any further increases in the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam and of the proper rehabilitation of those being displaced.
The hunger fast by Medha Patkar and others is now into its 13th day (correction to yesterday’s Bulletin, where we said “11th”, following the number given in the NBA report included, but where there was an error).
Newspapers today report that Medha has also written to the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh asking him to intervene so that she is released from her confinement at a government hospital.
On the other hand, and on the other side of the road, the Bhopal demo is preparing RIGHT NOW to do an action in the middle of the city, at 5 pm Delhi / India time, and if they still do not get any reply from the government on their demands by tomorrow morning, then to go on hunger strike from tomorrow April 11, as long planned and announced by them.
We suggest that you watch the news and look for updates in these next 24 hours; a lot can happen in this time. And please ACT on the possibilities listed below !
This CDDB (CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin) is also organised differently; for the first time, we are attempting here to give you a digest of news and information on and related to the Delhi Demos :
[1] Global Relay Hunger Strike for Justice in Bhopal: Fast for a Day or Longer in Solidarity with the Indefinite Hunger Strike by Bhopalis
[2] Latest updates on the Bhopal dharna : Plenty of news coverage in the last couple of days
[3] Solidarity Demonstration in Kolkata with Narmada dam oustees and the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Movement)
[4] Protests organized by mm&P alliance groups in Andhra Pradesh, against Medha’s illegal custody
[5] 24-hour solidarity fast on April 6-7 in Pune
[6] “Medha V R With U!” Solidarity Actions in Arunachal Pradesh on April 7
Jai Sen, for CACIM
Note : All back issues of this Bulletin (the CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin), number 0 onwards, are available @ : http://www.cacim.net/twiki/tiki-view_articles.php?type=article&topic=1

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[1] On 10.4.06 1:10am, “Ryan Bodanyi” <rbodanyi@studentsforbhopal.org> wrote:
Global Relay Hunger Strike for Justice in Bhopal:
Fast for a Day or Longer in Solidarity with the Indefinite Hunger Strike by Bhopalis
Sign up NOW at: https://www.bhopal.net/2006hungerstrike.html <https://www.bhopal.net/2006hungerstrike.html>
Dear Friend,
For 21 years we have waited and suffered; we have drunk poisoned water; we have been beaten and kicked by police for daring to ask why the Supreme Court’s order to give us clean water was ignored; our young women cried to learn that they were feeding their babies poison in their breast milk; we were slapped, punched and arrested when – because nobody else was doing it – we attempted to contain the toxic wastes in Union Carbide’s abandoned factory that are poisoning our wells; we have been called liars, malingerers, scammers and beggars. Now we have walked 500 miles from Bhopal to New Delhi to demand justice and a life of dignity for ourselves and our children.
We are the victims of Union Carbide’s poisons in Bhopal. Many of us inhaled the poison gases on the night of December 2-3, 1984. Of these, more than 150,000 are still suffering. There are others who are new victims who drink handpump water laced with poisons leaching out of the thousands of tons of toxic wastes that still lie abandoned in and around Union Carbide’s factory. We know of at least 70 children from these settlements that have serious birth defects. We know these deformities are because of the water that we are being forced to drink.
The Prime Minister of India doesn’t care. We are camped out on the pavement in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since 27 March, right across the street from the camp of another prominent example of the disdain with which our government treats its poorer citizens. Representatives of people who have lost their land, or stand to lose it, to the rising waters of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the River Narmada fill the air with slogans of struggle and resolve. Both, the Narmada oustees and the Bhopal survivors are camped out under the open sky. Both issues have been festering for more than 20 years; but the Prime Minister just doesn’t seem to care.
We’re poor, you see. When George Bush came, our Prime Minister was everywhere, smiling, almost purring as he was patronisingly patted by Bush. He made time for the CEO of Dow Chemical who came with George Bush. He has known since February 20 that we were arriving on foot from Bhopal, but he has said he doesn’t have time for us.
Our Prime Minister has always wanted lots of foreign investments. He is respectful, even fearful, of foreign investors. He does not want to impose any laws on them, and certainly not punish them, even if they are responsible for something as devastating as the Bhopal disaster. We are ashamed of what our country has become – a desperate nation that is willing to sacrifice its people for a fistful of dollars. We are left with no choice but to go on an indefinite hunger strike. We don’t believe that this will evoke sympathy in the hearts of our Prime Minister or other politicians. That is not our objective. We want to awaken the consciousness of the public. What happened to us, can happen to you, is happening to many others. Let’s reclaim democracy; let’s celebrate protest; let’s revive efforts to build a truly vibrant and humane India; let’s remind the Government who’s boss.
On April 11, the Bhopalis – gassed by Carbide, poisoned by contaminated water, weakened by their gruelling march – will begin an indefinite fast for justice. They need our support.
You can help
1. Sign-up for a day or more as part of the Global Relay Hunger Strike. You
can register at https://www.bhopal.net/2006hungerstrike.html
2. Send a FREE FAX to the Prime Minister. Online at:
http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/FaxAction/fax_action.php
3. EMAIL the Indian Government daily at:
http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/FaxAction/email_action.php
4. DO MORE. Find out how at:
http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/MarchToDelhi.htm
Students for Bhopal www.studentsforbhopal.org <http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/>
Association for India’s Development www.aidindia.org <http://www.aidindia.org/>
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal www.bhopal.net <https://www.bhopal.net/>
Ryan Bodanyi
Coordinator, Students for Bhopal
www.studentsforbhopal.org
1-401-829-6192

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