Category Archives: ICJB Press Releases, Statements, Letters

All press releases, statements, and open letters released by ICJB. Posts are tagged with main topic of release, such as “legal,” “medical,” or “anniversary”

Activists mount global challenge to Dow

PRESS RELEASE, 16/01/04: More than 25 representatives from various organisations, including 11 international delegates from USA and South Africa, met in Bhopal from January 14-16, 2004 to devise collective strategies to fight for justice in Bhopal and hold Dow Chemical accountable for its toxic legacies around the world. Corporate accountability activists and global supporters of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal announced plans to mobilize public pressure against Dow Chemical in the lead-up to and following the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster. The organisations resolved to support the demands of Bhopal survivors for disbursement of compensation funds to survivors, provision of drinking water to the bastis affected by contaminated water, setting up of livelihood generation schemes and pinning legal liability on Dow Chemical for Bhopal.

“This is just the beginning of a globally coordinated fight to expose the toxic skeletons in Dow Chemical’s closet and make the company address its pending liabilities among the millions of people poisoned by Dow’s factories, products or its subsidiaries like Union Carbide,” said Satinath Sarangi of the ICJB.

PIC1
Dow Chemical has alienated communities worldwide, including in the neighborhood of its headquarters in Midland, Michigan. Residents of Saginaw County, Michigan, who live in the dioxin-contaminated floodplains downriver of Dow’s headquarters in Midland have filed suit against Dow demanding compensation for devaluation in land value because of pollution. Dow’s neighboring communities are demanding that Dow should clean up the 55-mile stretch of polluted river, and initiate comprehensive environmental and health monitoring and rehabilitation.

“Dow has poisoned its own nest. As in Bhopal, where the company denies its liabilities and even the existence of a criminal case against Union Carbide, Dow has the dubious distinction of being a consistent liar even here in Michigan,” said Michelle Hurd-Riddick of the Lone Tree Council, a community environmental group from Saginaw City, Michigan (see this DOC1). Dow has mounted a massive PR effort in Michigan to understate the dangers of dioxins and evade liabilities for clean-up and compensation for threatening the health of communities living in the contaminated area. “Grassroots globalisation is the appropriate challenge to the global reach of Dow Chemical’s poisons, and we’re here to lend and take solidarity from the struggles of the people in Bhopal, Vietnam and other Dow-affected communities.”

On January 10, 2004, Vietnamese people affected by Agent Orange – a dioxin-contaminated herbicide used in the chemical warfare waged by the US in Vietnam in 1965-73 – came together as Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange. Like in Bhopal, a wide range of disabilities and ailments are being found in children born to Agent Orange-exposed people. Hundreds of thousands of children born to exposed parents are also reportedly affected. The Agent Orange Victims Association has expressed interest in joining forces with the global struggle to hold corporations accountable.

In a 2003 study titled “Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals,” the US Center for Disease Control confirmed the presence of toxic chemicals manufactured by Dow in the blood and urine of all the American individuals that were tested as part of the study. “In a sense, people around the world are all united in Dow Chemical’s web of poisons. This is a form of trespass – a chemical trespass into our bodies – and numerous NGOs in the US and Europe are fighting for laws to prevent the manufacture of such deadly chemicals and to hold manufacturers like Dow liable for contamination and injury caused by their products,” said Skip Spitzer of Pesticide Action Network North America.

The global solidarity group and 170 Bhopal survivors, including a cultural troupe, will attend the World Social Forum, Mumbai Resistance and other gatherings in Mumbai from 17-21 January, 2004.

Besides representatives of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sanghatan, and the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, the meeting was attended by the following: Tracey Easthope, Ecology Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan Jay Feldman, Beyond Pesticides, Washington, D.C. Gary Cohen, Environmental Health Fund, Boston, USA Skip Spitzer, Pesticide Action Network North America, California, USA Michelle Hurd-Riddick, Lone Tree Council, Saginaw, Michigan Bobby Peek, groundWork, Durban, South Africa Ryan Bodanyi, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, USA Maude Dorr, photographer, USA Zeina el-Haj, Greenpeace International, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Ward Morehouse, Council for International and Public Affairs, New York, USA Vinuta Gopal, Greenpeace India, Bangalore, India Shailendra Yashwant, Greenpeace India, Bangalore, India Nityanand Jayaraman, Dow Accountability Campaign, Chennai Anuradha Saibaba, The Other Media, New Delhi Rachna Dhingra, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, Bhopal Rasheeda Bi, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh Champa Devi Shukla, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh Satinath Sarangi, Bhopal Group for Information and Action Shahid Noor, Bhopal survivor

For more information, contact:
Rasheeda Bi (cell) +91 755 3132298 or +91 755 2743157

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Now Euro MPs tell Dow, ‘He who pollutes must pay’

Dow must have imagined nobody would notice. Or mused that if your double standards are brazen enough, no one will point them out. From Kathy Hunt’s doe-eyed “but they don’t have Superfund over there, do they?” to Michael Parker’s dead-behind-the-eyes suggestion that the beggarly compensation money intended for gas survivors – yes, you read that correctly, gas survivors – should be used to clean up Carbide’s crime, ‘polluter pays’ was only something you did when you couldn’t possibly get away with it. Well it’s starting to look like Dow can’t. Having Congress on your back about it is bad enough, throw in the European parliament and it’s beginning to look like it might not be your year.

On September 24th members of the Green/FEA group announced that they would be “joining in the action that the members of the US Congress have started against the firm DOW.”

Press Statement

The Green / Free European Alliance

Strasbourg, September 24th, 2003

From Bhopal to Toulouse: no forgetting.

Two years after the Toulouse catastrophe, The Green / FEA group at the European Parliament, welcomed a delegation of victims of the Bhopal disaster (25000 dead, 50000 wounded) during the Parliamentary session of September 2003. At the end of the meeting, the group The Green / FEA pledged to support the fight of the Bhopal victims by joining in the action that the members of the US Congress have started against the firm DOW. The Green / FEA group will demand that the European Commission and the European Council implement all means necessary to give all citizens of Bhopal access to drinking water.

Nearly twenty years after the tragedy, justice hasn’t yet cast full light on the accident, thus delaying the right compensation of victims. While the European Union is discussing the question of environmental responsibility, while the debates at the European Council may weaken, yet a little more, the text voted by the European Parliament, it is indispensable to recall the obligations of the industrialists who work in high-risk sectors.

To enforce the principle ” polluter-payer ” (he who pollutes shall pay) is essential to ensure that justice is done and that industrial disasters victims are compensated. Moreover, the pollution of the soil and ground water, aggravated by systematic dumping of toxic products by DOW Union Carbide, keeps causing serious health problems and congenital malformations. No compensation often means not being able to get treatment. It must be said that in Bhopal, medical care is in a large extent, given freely thanks to determined actors of the Indian civil society, such as Satinath Sarangi wo runs the Sambhavna Clinic : there, treatment is provided freely to survivors. For nearly twenty years now, the environmental catastrophe has been followed by a health disaster.

In the background, the question of a policy of chemicals emerges. The report of Inger Schorling Swedish Green European MP- shows the limits of goodwill in a sector which could be tempted, should a more severe legislation be adopted, to transfer part of its activities to countries unable by lack of means- to enforce such strict laws.

Marie Anne Isler Béguin

Inger Schorling

Paul Lannoye

Members of The Green / FEA goup at the European Parliament

Translation by Carmela Pizarroso (Toulouse)

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Woo hoo, we just got this! Warren Anderson found by Daily Mirror, videotaped and served arrest warrant by Greenpeace in New York

I am happy to say that a few weeks ago I was able, with help from my Greenpeace Colleagues, to track down #1 Corporate Criminal Warren Anderson at his house in New York. Needless to say Warren was not happy to see me, be videotaped or served a warrant for his arrest. But he was.

In the wake of yesterday’s gigantic victory in the Bhopal Courts, Greenpeace is using this recent Anderson sighting to push both the Indian Government and the US State Department to find this man (who I have on tape), arrest him and send him to trial in India.Action alerts pressuring both governments will appear on the Greenpeace Website soon. www.greenpeaceusa.org/bhopal

I’ve attached our US press release and our International release is below! Help spread the word — let’s get this crook! Call me with questions!

Casey Harrell
Greenpeace USA — Toxics Campaigner
casey.harrell@wdc.greenpeace.org
702 H Street NW Suite 300 Wash DC 20001
1 202 319 2497 phone 1 202 462 4607 fax

INTERNATIONAL FUGITIVE AND BHOPAL CORPORATE CRIMINAL TRACKED DOWN IN THE UNITED STATES: GREENPEACE CALLS FOR HIS ARREST

Washington/Amsterdam 29 August 2002 – Greenpeace today called on the U.S. State Department to arrest and extradite international fugitive And Bhopal corporate criminal (1), Warren Anderson, who has been found by a UK newspaper (2) and Greenpeace living a life of luxury in New York State. Anderson, the former Chief Executive Officer of Union Carbide, has been hiding in the United States since an explosion at his company’s plant in Bhopal, India, caused the worst industrial disaster in history in December 1984.

Greenpeace paid Anderson a visit at his U.S. home and handed him an arrest warrant. He has been facing charges of culpable homicide and an extradition order from the government of India for the past eleven years. He has never appeared in court to face charges for crimes in Bhopal or even to explain why his company did not apply the same safety standards at its plant in India that it operated at a sister plant in South Charleston, the U.S. State of West Virginia.

“If a team of journalists and Greenpeace managed to track down India’s most wanted man in a matter of days, how seriously have the U.S. authorities tried to find him all these years? The U.S. has reacted swiftly on curbing the financial corporate crimes of Enron and WorldCom, but has clearly not made much of an effort to find Anderson, responsible for the deaths of 20,000 people in India, said Greenpeace campaigner, Casey Harrell, in the U.S.

On the night of the disaster, when an explosion at Union Carbide’s pesticide plant caused 40 tonnes of lethal gas to seep into the city of Bhopal, six safety measures designed to prevent a gas leak had either malfunctioned, were turned off or were otherwise inadequate. In addition, the safety siren, intended to alert the community should an incident occur at the plant, was turned off.

Union Carbide responded to the disaster by paying survivors inadequate compensation and abandoning the plant, leaving tonnes of dangerous toxic chemicals strewn around the site and the people of Bhopal with a toxic legacy that is still causing injury today. In 2001, the company shed its name by merging with Dow Chemical.

In May this year, the government of India unexpectedly started proceedings to dilute charges against Anderson from culpable homicide to negligent homicide. But yesterday, the judgement of a Bhopal Court rejected the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation’s plea to dilute charges against Anderson. The ruling has been welcomed by those representing the victims in their fight for justice.

Calling on both governments to act swiftly, Mr. Ganesh Nochur, Campaigns Director of Greenpeace India stated, “Now that Anderson’s address is known, India must immediately and formally push for his arrest and extradition on charges of culpable homicide. In return, Greenpeace demands that the U.S. honour this request, per the two nations’ extradition agreement. Anderson and the rest of Union Carbide, now Dow Chemical, should take responsibility for their crimes in Bhopal.”

Bhopal is an ongoing disaster. One hundred twenty thousand people still face serious health problems and children born to survivors are also affected. The toxic chemicals abandoned in Bhopal by the chemical company have contaminated the groundwater that is used by thousands of people who live around the abandoned factory. (3) Greenpeace and Bhopal survivors (4) are calling on Dow Chemical to clean up the factory site at its expense as would be required in the U.S., to secure long-term medical treatment facilities and medical rehabilitation for the survivors of the poisonous gas leak, to ensure economic compensation for the gas-affected people and their families, and to provide clean drinking water to communities that are forced to consume contaminated groundwater.

“As delegates gather at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, we fully expect corporate crimes such as this to be high on their agenda. International legislation must be established to make sure corporations and their officials are held criminally and financially liable for environmental terrorism. There must be no more Bhopals,” concluded Ganesh.

Notes to editors
In 1992, a warrant was issued for Mr. Anderson’s arrest. He was charged with culpable homicide in connection with the chemical disaster at Union Carbide’s Bhopal plant in 1984. This is an extraditable offence under the extradition treaty between the United States and India. Mr. Anderson has also evaded a summons to appear in a U.S. court for a civil trial relating to the Bhopal disaster.

The Daily Mirror, 29-08-2002. See http://www.mirror.co.uk In 1999, Greenpeace and Bhopal community groups visited the abandoned factory to assess the environmental condition of the site and its surroundings. The team documented the presence of stockpiles of toxic pesticides as well as hazardous wastes and contaminated material scattered throughout the factory site. The survey found substantial and, in some locations, severe contamination of land and water supplies with heavy metals and chlorinated chemicals.

Greenpeaceis campaigning in Bhopal as part of an international NGO coalition AaCcTt including the Bhopal Gas Affected Women Stationery Workers Association, Bhopal Gas Affected Pensioners Association, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, National Campaign For Justice in Bhopal, The Other Media and CorpWatch.

Contact Information
Greenpeace U.S. Casey Harrell
+1 202 319 2497 and +1 202 213 7810
Greenpeace India Ganesh Nochur
+91 11 65 36717 / +91 98 2004 2897
Cecilia Goin, Media Officer
+31 (0) 6 212 96 908

Photographs and video are available on request. Contact John Novis on +31 6 53819121 for photographs, and Thomas McCable Greenpeace U.S. on + 1 202 413 8517

Photos of the Bhopal disaster (from 1984 and the present day) taken by
Magnum photographer Raghu Rai, are available on request from
Greenpeace.

For more information see www.greenpeace.org

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