On Monday, December 5, Diane Wilson was arrested at a fundraiser attended by Vice President Dick Cheney for embattled U.S. Representative Tom DeLay, the former Majority Leader of the US House before he was indicted on charges of conspiracy and money laundering. Wilson, a leading activist with the progressive women’s group Code Pink (and longtime supporter of the Bhopal campaign), briefly disrupted Cheney’s speech by unfurling a banner that read “Corrupt greed kills from Bhopal to Baghdad.” She was promptly arrested, and remains in police custody.
For $4,200, donors attended a VIP reception, took photographs with Cheney and received recognition at the event. For $2,100, attendees rubbed elbows and took photos with DeLay. Regular tickets, just to have a seat at the table, cost $500 per person, but Diane paid only $50.
“I guess they needed people inside,” she said. “You can get in pretty cheap. I didn’t want to give too much.”
Earlier this year Diane jumped bail and went on the lam to protest the continuing freedom of Warren Anderson, former Chairman of Union Carbide, wanted on charges of “culpable homicide” in India for his role in the deaths of 20,000 Bhopalis. Diane herself was charged with criminal trespass for hanging a banner at a Dow Chemical/Union Carbide facility that said “Dow – Responsible for Bhopal”. She received a six month jail sentence for that, which she is due to serve.
Anderson has been wanted by the Indian criminal courts since 1991. In November, Diane began her ‘manhunt’ for Anderson, visiting his summer house in the exclusive beach resort of the Hamptons so she could “try to talk some sense into him.” He wasn’t home, but you can listen to this online interview with Diane as she recounts the trip.
On December 3rd, the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, Diane visited Anderson’s winter estate in Vero Beach, Florida. This is her account of the trip (some names have been changed to protect the innocent):
Sheila and I were in Vero Beach for two days checking out Warren’s place on Catalina Court. We tested the electric gate and squeezed between the fences, just barely. i had to almost remove the mirror on the side of the car to squeeze in but we managed. Sheila had a video camera and I drove and she videoed. warren’s place was on an end street and we causually checked it out for two days. very little life going on in the whole gated community. not once did we see anybody outside, anywhere. At warren’s house it was nicely mowed and the blinds were down and so was the garage door. so we weren’t sure at all that he was there and figured he wasn’t stupid, an absonder from justice, but not stupid. what UCC man would be home on the annniverary of bhopal? none I figured but since i was leaving no stone unturned, we just went right ahead with our plan. The last day, we got some poster board and made several signs in bright yellow so they would stand out. then we bought some stakes at a dept. store and some liquid nail to glue the stuff and had two posters ready. one said: Warren Anderson….Wanted for homicide…..in India the other poster had his arrest warrant and the public notice for his arrest in the Washington Post.
We picked up Vanity Fair writer who is very interested in story at her hotel and then we set out for warren’s place again. again we squeezed thru but had a difference or two. when we pulled to the end of the street and i prepared to go up and knock on the door, a man pulled up in a car and was watching us. either he was checking things across the street from warren or he was watching us. We think he was watching us, then lo and behold here comes a white stationwagon of sorts and an elderly woman drove up. she looked at us briefly without smiling then drove up in the driveway like she was goiing to stop. so i got out to talk with her. if she was ms. warren anderson she sure had changed a bunch. we believed she was the house keeper but are not entirely sure. the woman opened the garage door with a little electric thing and she couldn’t work it well so it kept open and closing and opening and closing and i thought everytime it opened that she was going to talk with me, then before it closed entirely, she ran into some chairs in the garage. Well, she obviously wasn’t going to talk with me there so i went to the front door and rang the bell about 5 times. finally i figured this lady wasn’t coming out and was probably watching me behind the blinds. so i left a copy of the arrest warrant and highlighted in red, and a note to warren. Again. i left him my address and my cell phone. i told him we definitely had to talk. he and i had something in common….mostly our jail sentences! i thought union carbide and dow had been feeding him some bad advice and he would feel much better about himself if he just turned himself in. Then i could turn myself into to the Texas cops and i told him i bet i’d get a worse time of it. anyhow, we left after i left all that at his door and then i pushed those two stakes into his front yard. We then hightailed it out of there. figured somebody called the law. ahah. anyhow, in love and solidarity!! diane