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”

Declaration from Students for Bhopal: In the 20th Year of the Bhopal Disaster, A Joint Declaration To Fight For Justice

The following Student Declaration to Dow was issued on May 5th, 2005, and was presented to Dow at their annual Shareholder Meeting.

See press release here. 


In the 20th Year of the Bhopal Disaster, A Joint Declaration To Fight For Justice

To The Dow Chemical Company

We are outraged.

Twenty years ago, on Dec. 3rd, 1984, thousands of people in Bhopal, India, died after a catastrophic chemical leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant. More than 150,000 people were left severely disabled—of whom 20,000 have since died of their injuries­—in a disaster now widely acknowledged as the world’s worst-ever industrial disaster.

Bhopal is not only a disaster, but a corporate crime. None of the six safety systems at the plant were functional, and Union Carbide’s own documents prove the company cut corners on safety and maintenance in order to save money. Today, twenty years after the Bhopal disaster, those who survived the gas remain sick, and the chemicals that Union Carbide left behind in Bhopal have contributed to an epidemic of cancers, birth defects, and other afflictions.

Although Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide in 2001, it still refuses to accept Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal—or even admit that they exist. For the past three years, Dow-Carbide has refused to:

1) Clean up the site, which continues to contaminate those near it, or to provide just compensation for those who have been injured or made ill by this poison;
2) Fund medical care, health monitoring and necessary research studies, or even to provide all the information it has on the leaked gases and their medical consequences;
3) Provide alternate livelihood opportunities to victims who can not pursue their usual trade because of their exposure-induced illnesses;
4) Stand trial before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Bhopal, where Union Carbide faces criminal charges of culpable homicide (manslaughter), and has fled these charges for the past 12 years.

In light of these facts, we, the undersigned students and organizations, have signed this declaration to mark the 20th year of the Bhopal disaster:

We don’t believe Dow-Carbide should be allowed to walk away from what happened in Bhopal. Enron’s crimes may have cost people their retirement portfolios, but Dow-Carbide’s crimes in Bhopal have cost tens of thousands of people their health and their lives. Today, Dow-Carbide seems content to condemn the survivors of Bhopal to wallow in the contamination it left behind. We believe the fact that Dow-Carbide has not acted to stop the ongoing contamination of tens of thousands—for which it is responsible—is inhumane, unjust, and immoral.

We are outraged. We don’t want our institutions of learning associated with a corporation that maintains its profit margins by evading its responsibilities to those it has poisoned. Dow-Carbide’s callous disregard for the value of human life doesn’t seem to have changed since the Vietnam War, and we don’t believe students are going to be any more forgiving now than they were then.

Until Dow resolves its legal and moral responsibilities in Bhopal, we are committed to:

• Educating our fellow students and our communities about the Bhopal disaster and Dow-Carbide’s unresolved responsibilities.
• Organizing within our schools to demand, as during the Vietnam War, that our institutions of learning are not tainted by Dow’s legacy of death.
• Demanding that our institutions do not invest in a company that maintains its profit margins by avoiding the toxic legacies it’s created around the world.

We, the undersigned students and organizations, are committed to continuing and intensifying our campaign for justice in Bhopal. We are committed to organizing a new student movement against your company, the first since the Vietnam War. We are committed to fighting for justice until Dow accepts all of its responsibilities in Bhopal.

You can expect to be surprised by students and supporters of the Bhopal campaign so long as you continue to evade your responsibility in Bhopal. You can expect protests, direct actions, and embarrassment in the media. You can expect students across the world to demand that their institutions of learning sever ties with your company, as they did during the Vietnam War. You can expect this student movement to grow until you fulfill all the demands of the survivors of your disaster.

We are committed to the Battle for Bhopal, and we will not rest until justice is done.

Signed,

Albany Medical College
Jasbir Virk
virkj at mail dot amc dot edu

University of Arizona
Ranjini Swaminathan, AID-Tucson
tucson at aidindia dot org

Bard College
Samira Desai, Human Rights Project
SD392 at bard dot edu
914-474-8503

Bates College
Trang Nguyen, Director, Agent Orange Campaign
tnguyen2 at bates dot edu
207-795-5129

Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus, Germany
Shrinivas Tukdeo, Bhopal-Cottbus
shrinivastukdeo at yahoo dot com
017624253859

Brown University
Aditi Bhaskar, Brown Amnesty International Chapter
aditi38 at hotmail dot com
401-867-6641

Sushil Jacob, Political Action Chair, South Asian Students Association
Sushil at alumni dot brown dot edu
401-862-6808

Rahul Kamath, South Asian Students Association (SASA)
818-518-8072

University of California, Berkeley
South Asia Development Alternatives Network
indian_development_group at groups dot yahoo dot com

University of California, Davis
Roshani Parekh, AWAAZ Magazine
Enironmental Policy & Planning Commission,
Associated Students of UC Davis
rrparekh at ucdavis dot edu
530-297-1667

University of California, San Diego
Tara Ramanathan
tramanat at ucsd dot edu
858-531-5593

Nirmala Tammineni, President
San Diego Chapter, Association for India’s Development
sandiego at aidindia dot org

University of California, Santa Cruz
Tim Krupnik, Department of Environmental Studies
831-227-6437

University of Chicago
Allison Hannon, Environmental Concerns Organization (ECO)
ahannon at uchicago dot edu
773-834-5609

University of Cincinnati
Rishi Khar, President, AID Cincinnati
aid2 at email dot uc dot edu
513-556-8500

Sandesh Samdaria
sandesh_sam at yahoo dot com
513-861-0991

Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, India
Anivar Aravind, Stolengeneration
anivar at riseup dot net

Delhi University, India
Madhumita Dutta, We for Bhopal
mdutta at vsnl dot net

Duke University
Somnath Baidya Roy
sbroy at duke dot edu
919-660-5581

Emory University
Girija Sankaranarayanan, Association for India’s Development
gsanka2 at emory dot edu
404-915-1867

Flintridge Preparatory High School
Preeti Upadhyaya, Students Against Corporate Crime
missprifi at yahoo dot com

GAIA (Global Alternate Information Applications), India
Renjith Kumar.K.G
info_gaia at riseup dot net
+91-9447766464

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Srinivasan Seetharaman, Association for India’s Development
srini084 at gmail dot com
678-467-2654

Georgia State University
Taka Ono, the Greens of Georgia State University
tono1 at student dot gsu dot edu
404-377-4542

Grand Valley State University
Paul Damore
damorep at student dot gvsu dot edu

Sara Smolinski, President, Biology Club of GVSU
BIOCLUB at student dot gvsu dot edu

Green Festivals Initiative, Chennai, India
Dharmesh Shah, We Feel Responsible
shahdharmesh at vsnl dot net

Harvard University
Suvrat Raju, Harvard Initiative for Peace and Justice
suvrat at physics dot harvard dot edu

Pratibha Krishnamurthy-Shrivastava
pratibha_shrivastava at ksg06 dot harvard dot edu

Highland Park High School, Dallas, Texas
Christina Billingsley
christina dot billingsley at ssc dot org
214-929-5995

Hillsborough High School, Hillsborough, New Jersey
Andy Glaser, Amnesty International Group Coordinator
AG4932 at aol dot com
908-285-3876

University of Houston
Chakradhar Iyyunni, Ph.D, Association for India’s Development-Houston
AID at UH dot EDU

Ishaan Kapoor, Association for India’s Development-Houston
ISHAAN_KAP at YAHOO dot COM
832-466-2159

IIT Madras, Chennai, India
Yash Jain, We Feel Responsible
kool_yash at yahoo dot com

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Ra Ravishankar, South Asian Collective
ravishan at students dot uiuc dot edu
217-384-0925

Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India
Nahar J Muhammed, Representative, Student Council
naharj at naharnet dot com

Indiana University, Bloomington
Yogesh L. Simmhan, AID-Bloomington
ysimmhan at indiana dot edu
812-337-1347

Johns Hopkins University
Arun Sripati, Association for India’s Development
aidjhuinfo at yahoo dot com

University of Kansas
Nadim Asrar, Department of Theatre and Film
nadim at ku dot edu

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Anand Chandolu, President, AID Baton Rouge
ch_anandkumar at yahoo dot com
225-387-0342

Loyola College, Chennai, India
Someetharan, We Feel Responsible
someeth at yahoo dot com

Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India
Jibu Thomas, Greenyouth Movement
jambukan at yahoo dot com
91-481-2732002 (hostel)

University of Maryland, College Park
Mohan Bhagat, AID-College Park
bhagat at glue dot umd dot edu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Mona Mandal, AID-Boston
info at aidboston dot org

Medical College Thrissur, Kerala, India
Sanitha Sathyan, Stolengeneration
sanithasathyan123 at yahoo dot co dot in
+91-9847942529

University of Michigan
Varsha Mathrani, Justice for Bhopal, AID-Ann Arbor
raincountry0 at yahoo dot com

Deepti Reddy, Co-facilitator, Environmental Action
dgreddy at umich dot edu
734-834-0195

University of Minnesota
Tathagata Mitra, AID Minnesota
mitra6uf at yahoo dot com

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Naomi Solomon, President, Green Party of UNL
naomispaceboy at yahoo dot com
402-890-3173

New York University
Kranthi K Gade, AID – New York
kranthi at cs dot nyu dot edu
646-248-2745

Warren Andrews
warren at nyu dot edu

Northampton High School, Northampton, Massachusetts
Tory Michak, Co-President, Amnesty International
nhsamnesty at gmail dot com

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chandana Achanta, AID Chapel Hill, Research Triangle
achanta at email dot unc dot edu
443-850-4561

University of North Texas
Ambreen Rahman, Amnesty International
theinsideroute at aol dot com

Occidental College
Clayton Perry, Oxy Conscious
perry at oxy dot edu
323-304-3668

Penn State University
Sameer Marathe, President, AID Penn State
814-404-0819

Uma Asher, Association for South Asia Research
814-404-7296

Angeliki Vgontzas, Coordinator, Amnesty International Penn State
Angeliki1 at aol dot com

University of Pennsylvania
Nitin Bakshi, AID Philadelphia
philly at aidindia dot org

Portland State University
Sathish Sundaram
sathish dot sundaram at gmail dot com
513-886-1996

Princeton University
Sujata Ray, AID Princeton
sray at Princeton dot EDU

Queens University, Canada
Sadiqa Khan
skhan at kingston dot net

South Asia Forum – Madison
Vidhi Parthasarathy
vidhipartha at gmail dot com
608-239-7197

SAPAC (South Asian Progressive Action Collective), Chicago
Alpana Patel
773-501-7617

Khelan Bhatt
khelan at hotmail dot com

Stanford University
Sudarshan Suresh, AID-Bay Area
sudarshan dot suresh at gmail dot com
480-363-0081

St. Benedict’s Preparatory High School, Newark, New Jersey
Daniel Saraiva, President, SBP Environmental Club
dsaraiva at sbp dot org
908-247-8360

Stella Maris and Ethiraj College, Chennai, India
Karuna Amarnath, Students for Society
karunaamarnath at rediffmail dot com

University of Texas, Austin
Nishant Jain, Association for India’s Development – Austin
nishj at umich dot edu
512-422-7169

Tufts University
Aditya Nochur, Environmental Consciousness Outreach (ECO)
Aditya dot Nochur at tufts dot edu
617-967-1740

Tulane University
Biswanath Gouda, President, AID -New Orleans
bisu_g at yahoo dot com
504-957-0017

Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai, India
Lakshmi Venugopal & Bhuvana Murali, We Feel Responsible
crazylaks at rediffmail dot com
bonzee at gmail dot com

Vintage High School, Napa, California
Sushanna Ellington, Advisor
Amnesty International
Poetry Club
sellington at nvusd dot k12 dot ca dot us

University of Washington
Tapoja Chaudhuri
tapoja at gmail dot com

Wheaton College, Norton, MA
Aditi Desai, South Asian Students Association
adesai at wheatonma dot edu
508-286-5255

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Kamayani Swami, AID-Milwaukee
kamayani02 at yahoo dot com
262-896-1549

Young Volunteers for the Environment, Togo
M ADESSOU Kwaku, Program Officer, Young Volunteers for the Environment
yvetogo at hotmail dot com

 

*Neither Amnesty International nor its member chapters endorse boycotts or divestment.

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Dow Chemical Faces Mounting Pressure from Investors to Disclose Risks to Company from Scientific and Legal Trends Targeting Dow’s Toxic Chemical Production

BOSTON COMMON ASSET MANAGEMENT, LLC
TRILLIUM ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION
MEDIA ADVISORY
for May 12, 2005
Contact: Shayna Samuels,917-817-3396
or Glenn Turner, 718-541-4785
Recent Supreme Court Decision Allowing Lawsuits for Injuries Caused by Pesticides to Impact Upcoming Dow Shareholder Meeting
New Laws in Europe Anticipated to Phase Out Harmful Chemicals May Affect Dow’s Bottom Line
(May 12 — Midland, Michigan) — A shareholder resolution will be presented to the Dow Chemical annual meeting this week, calling on the Board of Directors to disclose the risks to the company posed by changing scientific knowledge and public policies regarding Dow’s toxic chemicals.
The shareholder meeting will occur in the wake of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, in Bates v. Dow Agrosciences on April 27, 2005, which affirmed the right of citizens to sue chemical manufacturers for harm caused by their pesticides. The Supreme Court ruled against Dow AgroSciences and the Bush Administration, who claimed that federal pesticide laws shield chemical manufacturers.
Dow is already expending hundreds of millions of dollars on environmental liabilities. According to shareholders planning to attend the annual meeting, the company’s SEC reports inadequately assess how new trends may further increase liability and constrict the company’s product lines. A shareholder resolution filed by Trillium Asset Management asks the company to:
1) Account to investors for the impacts of changing science and new public policies that are increasingly targeting chlorpyrifos (Dursban), dioxins and other persistent bio-accumulative toxics associated with Dow products.
2) Provide a plan for phase-out of products targeted by public policymakers in the U.S. and Europe.
Chlorpyrifos, also known by Dow’s trade name Dursban, is a neuro-toxic pesticide that can cause respiratory paralysis, convulsions, nausea, headaches and other symptoms with acute exposure. In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 93% of the US population had this chemical in their bodies. Market analysis indicates that Dow Chemical likely contributed at least 80% of public exposure to chlorpyrifos. Yet Dow’s published statements are largely silent regarding the related risks to the company. Nearly 300 Dursban-related lawsuits have been filed against Dow since 1990. The shareholders who filed the resolution believe that the data finding these chemicals in US populations makes more litigation against Dow likely.
Dioxin, a chemical known to cause cancer, immune suppression, reproductive, developmental and liver damage, is a byproduct in the production of some Dow chemicals. A class action lawsuit by Michigan residents is seeking compensation for the contamination. Residents in the region are asserting approximately $100 million in property damages and seeking medical monitoring. The medical monitoring claim is now before the Michigan Supreme Court. Dioxin is also a severe problem in Agent Orange hotspots including Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia, where the Dow-produced herbicide was sprayed as a lethal war defoliant and released at manufacturing facilities. Roughly 100,000 claims of Agent Orange exposure-related health problems by U.S. veterans have been filed with the government since 2000. U.S. and Vietnamese veterans and their families are suing Dow for compensation.
REACH — The European Union is expected to soon begin implementation of a new policy entitled REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals). Chemical companies will need to provide data on their products including toxicity and exposure to humans and the environment. Toxic chemicals must be registered, and the worst could be restricted in favor of safer alternatives. Some industry associations suggest that up to 20% of chemicals on the market will be discontinued. Approximately one-third of Dow’s revenues are derived from Europe.
“As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of persistent toxic chemicals, Dow appears to be on a head-on collision course with changing public policies,” said Shelley Alpern of Trillium Asset Management. “We hope our resolution will help put the company on a more financially sound path.”
Bhopal — In addition, Dow continues to be under fire for failing to provide compensation and environmental clean-up for the 150,000 residents of Bhopal, India who are still suffering from a chemical factory explosion twenty years ago. At the upcoming annual meeting, a member of Boston Common Asset Management will deliver a letter to the 14 members of Dow’s Board of Directors regarding Bhopal. The letter notes that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, (the investor protection law enacted after Enron and other corporate scandals), requires Dow’s CEO to certify that financial reports “fairly present” the company’s financial condition. The letter states that Boston Common believes “this requires better discussion of the issues surrounding Bhopal.” The letter lists ongoing criminal and civil litigation, reputational damage associated with unresolved issues in Bhopal, and potential constraints on business in India and Asia. In addition, the letter states that the management should also disclose the status of any of its initiatives to resolve the outstanding issues associated with Bhopal.
“Shareholders should demand that Dow be held accountable for the atrocity in Bhopal, and clean up the highly contaminated land and water once and for all,” said Lauren Compere, Chief Administrative Officer of Boston Common Asset Management. “Bhopal is only the latest example of Dow’s underreporting of potential environmental liabilities, following asbestos, Agent Orange and dioxin. We believe this pattern will hurt all Dow shareholders.

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Press Release: STUDENTS AT 60 SCHOOLS VOW TO FIGHT DOW

Click here for text of declaration.

CONTACT: Ryan Bodanyi, Students for Bhopal, (401) 829-6192

STUDENTS AT 60 SCHOOLS VOW TO FIGHT DOW

Threaten Divestment, Protests Over Bhopal Contamination

Today students and organizations from more than 60 colleges, high schools and universities worldwide released a Student Declaration to Dow, vowing to press their schools to divest and refuse donations from the company until it resolves its legal and moral responsibilities for the Bhopal Disaster. The Declaration, coordinated by Students for Bhopal and released in advance of the Dow Shareholder Meeting next week, signifies the largest student movement facing Dow since the end of the Vietnam War.

Continue reading Press Release: STUDENTS AT 60 SCHOOLS VOW TO FIGHT DOW

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Indian politicians’ shameful treatment of survivors reaches new depths

INDIA’S POLITICIANS MOVE TO DENY BHOPAL SURVIVORS MEDICAL CARE

The following press statement was issued today by Bhopal survivors’ organisations and their supporters.

Bhopal, February 12, 2005

Over two hundred survivors of the December ’84 Union Carbide gas disaster today held a demonstration at the office of the Chief Medical Officer [Gas Relief] at 11.30 AM. Led by four organizations active on the long pending issues of the disaster, the demonstrators opposed the proposed handing over of the Gas Relief hospitals to the State Health department.

Reasons for opposing the transfer of Gas Relief hospitals to the Department of Health

· Survivors have been impoverished as a result of loss of work capacity and they will not be able to pay for registration, examinations and medicines, as they will be required to do following the implementation of this decision. Thousands of survivors will be denied medical care as a result of this decision.

· Keeping in view the special needs for medical care and research of the survivors, the Supreme Court set up special Monitoring and Advisory Committees last year. This decision of the State government will take away any possibility of special medical attention towards the health problems of survivors and their children.

· The government’s research agency Indian Council of Medical Research and several independent specialists have stressed the need for long term medical care, research and health monitoring of the survivors and their children. While survivors and their children need the work of medical rehabilitation to continue for the next 50 years, this decision will bury the continuing medical issues of the disaster.

· While the burning issue of free medical care of the people exposed to ground water contamination is still under consideration by the Supreme Court, the decision to transfer the Gas Relief hospitals to the Health department will end possibilities for free medical care of about 20, 000 people affected by poisoned ground water.

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

Contacts:

Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh Tel 9303132959
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha 9329026319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
9303122784
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action

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An open letter to Shri Babu Lal Gaur, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

ABOUT YOUR PLAN TO BUILD A NEW MEMORIAL TO BHOPAL’S GAS VICTIMS

Dear Chief Minister Gaur, Yesterday in Bhopal you told a press conference that you have decided to build a memorial to the memory of those who died in the Union Carbide gas disaster of twenty years ago. “Even after 20 years have passed,” you said, “no memorial has been built for the people who lost their lives in lethal MIC gas leakage from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal in 1984,” adding that you have already sought the support of Mr Arjun Singh, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, who has promised assistance. You have decided the nature of the memorial, which, you told reporters, “will resemble the Union Carbide factory from where lethal methyl isocyanate leaked out on the night of December 2, 1984.”

Continue reading An open letter to Shri Babu Lal Gaur, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

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