Dog days for Dow, hopeful days for humanity

On the eve of Bhopal survivors Champa Devi and Rashida Bee’s arrival in the US, the Environmental Health Fund’s Gary Cohen describes eight reasons why the present is no time to find yourself sitting on the board of the Dow Chemical Company, while being the very time to make yourself part of the struggle for a life free from chemical bodily harm.

“What’s new is that a tree is growing in Bhopal. It is a tulsi tree and it represents healing and the reclamation of the sacredness of life, even in the midst of global chemical disaster. It represents hope and the triumph of the human spirit against corporate crime and government indifference. And this tree is giving strength and power to a movement that is about reclaiming our health and our communities from companies like Dow Chemical, who trespass against us. We are all united in a web of Dow’s poisons. We are the new shareholders. Our own bodies have been branded by Dow Chemical. We will no longer tolerate this violence against life. It has to stop.”

PIC1tulsi-treeforweb.jpg
Tulsi, a prime herb in ayurvedic treatment, can be used to prevent and cure various forms of poisoning and is even known to purify or de-pollute the atmosphere

WHAT’S NEW IN THE BHOPAL/DOW SAGA, by Gary Cohen
 
What’s new is that Bhopal survivors have linked with investors in raising the civil and criminal and moral responsibility that Dow has for the continuing disaster in Bhopal. Investors are concerned that the largest chemical company in the US has a pending criminal case against it in Bhopal, that there is an extradition order for its subsidiary’s former Chairman, that there is a civil case against the company in New York court system. When investors see photographs of the abandoned Union Carbide factory and the poisons still laying strewn around and leaking into the surrounding neighborhood, the rotting factory stands as a monument to the collosal failure of the chemical
industry to pay the full costs of its Holocaust.
 
What’s new is that Bhopal survivors are linking with Michigan residents who also face the consequences of Dow’s poisoning. And here also there is a class action suit against Dow for contaminating homes with dioxin, adn there is the potential of a massive clean up plan for the Tittabawassee River that flows into Saginaw Bay.
 
What’s new is that Bhopal survivors are linking with chemical security advocates that are concerned that there are 112 chemical facilities in cities all over America that would kill at least a million people if they exploded or were attacked by terrorists. Yet the Bush administration is protecting the chemical industry from mandatory regulations that would defend America from chemical terrorism. People in Bhopal know what chemical terror is. They live with its aftermath every day.
 
What’s new is Bhopal survivors are linking with Vietnamese Agent Orange victims, who have also continue to suffer health effects linked to the largest chemical warfare camapign in history, brought to the world by Dow, Monsanto and the US military. More than a million Vietnamese, many of them third generation victims, are effected by their dioxin poisoning. And they too have a class action suit against Dow for damages resulting from their chemical poisoning.
 
What’s new is Bhopal survivors linking with environmental health advocates who are concerned that Dow’s chemicals are showing up in the bodies of all Americans. Dow is trespassing not only into our communities, but into our bodies as well. This is a new story, the dark secret of the chemical industry that is only now beginning to be told.
 
What’s new is that Bhopal survivors are linking with human rights activists that understand that basic human rights norms need to apply to global corporations, that companies, and not just governments, are major violators of human rights and need to be reined in and brought to justice.
 
What’s new is that Bhopal survivors are being supported by city councils in San Francisco and Boston and with Congressional leaders and with labor leaders. There is a growing chorus of voices that is saying that corporations like Dow Chemical can not get away with murder, with massive health dand environmental damage, with toxics trespass on a global scale.
 
What’s new is that a tree is growing in Bhopal. It is a tulsi tree and it represents healing and the reclamation of the sacredness of life, even in the midst of global chemical disaster. It represents hope and the triumph of the human spirit against corporate crime and government indifference. And this tree is giving strength and power to a movement that is about reclaiming our health and our communities from companies like Dow Chemical, who trespass against us. We are all united in a web of Dow’s poisons. We are the new shareholders. Our own bodies have been branded by Dow Chemical. We will no longer tolerate this violence against life. It has to stop.

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