Chomsky joins 340 other academics in signing Bhopal petition

Professor Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a man many consider to be the Einstein of linguistics but perhaps best known for his outspoken opposition to American imperialism and foreign policy, has joined hundreds of other professors, scholars, and faculty members from around the world in signing the Faculty Petition for Justice in Bhopal.

“I have followed the case, and have written about it now and then. It is a horrendous scandal,” he wrote, shortly after signing the petition. Dozens of other faculty members from around the world have also written to express their support. “I’ll forward it to as many colleagues as I can,” wrote Ronald Loeffler, a faculty member at Carleton College in Minnesota. “I will also check whether Carleton has Dow shares and, if so, make a stir about it. The petition is really a powerful, meticulous indictment.”

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Professor Noam Chomsky

Over 340 faculty members from over 135 colleges have signed the petition, including nearly all of America’s most eminent universities. Faculty members from universities in Canada, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Ireland, Singapore, India, and Hungary have also signed.

“The support has been overwhelming,” said Ryan Bodanyi, an organizer with Students for Bhopal. “Faculty petitions with this many supporters are extremely rare. If we are able to collect more than a thousand signatures by the 20th anniversary this December, as we’re hoping, that would represent a powerful statement of support by the world’s academic community, and a powerful indictment of Dow’s continuing obfuscation and delay.”

“I was one of the students protesting your company at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1963,” wrote Nancy McCagney, University of California Religious Studies Visiting Scholar (retired professor), “and I protest your immorality in refusing to take responsibility for your actions in Bhopal India. Swallow your shame and get busy cleaning up the toxins you released into the Bhopal environment. This is the world you and your children and grandchildren live in too.”

The faculty petition is available online at www.petitiononline.com/dirtydow/

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