FROM AID, AUSTIN, BHOPAL INITIATIVE
April 14, 2006: Indefinite hunger strike Day 2 Photographs
Pragya: Student traffic was sparse, yet Diane was as energetic as ever, not letting the heat nor the rare signup get to her. When I asked her about her meeting with Cindy Sheehan, Diane gave the following reply: She was very….ordinary. How true it is- that the most ordinary people are capable of doing the most extraordinary things! Not too many people signed up for the fast, but a lot more signed up for the online fax. When told about Diane’s fast, the mouths of most individuals automatically formed an Oh in admiration, surprise, or both. One individual wanted to take a picture with her (though he did not) while another tried to talk her out of it (it did not work). I was not surprised when most people did not sign up for the fast, or just opted for the flyer. What did surprise me, was when I approached three middle aged South Asian ladies, neither one of whom had heard about the Bhopal incident, even though they would have been in their teens when the incident happened. It is this ignorance that needs to be obliterated. Action aside, people need to know what’s going on.
Vinod: Second day of the fast found Diane more energetic than the first, if that is possible! We set up the tables and the boards as usual. Today we put up a huge sign saying “Indefinite Hunger Strike Day 2”. That caught a lot of attention. The first person I spoke to today was Eric. I started telling him the Bhopal story, and he said, “I know, I know. Dow ought to be shot!” He also said that he writes to his Congressman regularly about this issue, and he was mighty glad we were not letting it die down. “Its been such a long time, I was in school when it happened”, said Eric. Quite interesting and so contrary to Pragya’s experience later in the day.
We closed shop a little early today since “the indefatigable” Diane wanted to drive over to Crawford, TX. Day 3 and Day 4 of the fast, she is out in front of George Bush’s ranch.
An interesting incident happened on the first day. I was talking to Diane this morning, and she mentioned that yesterday, there was a very well dressed man who stopped by. He did not want to listen to Diane or the volunteers. He did not want to sign the petition or any of the other stuff. However, he carefully read every word of every leaflet, media release, poster boards, our student govt. resolution, the Bhopalis demands documents, basically every piece of writing we had. We suspect he was from Dow.