“Dump Your Dow’ Campaign Announced by International Coalition Marking 25th Anniversary of Bhopal Disaster


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            CONTACT: Shayna Samuels, 718-541-4785
November 4, 2009                                   or Glenn Turner, 917-817-3396

“Dump Your Dow’ Campaign Announced by International Coalition Marking 25th Anniversary of Bhopal Disaster

Campaign Urging People to Dump Dow Stock, Products, Sponsorships, Etc. and Donate to Help People of Bhopal, Still Suffering 25 Years Later

The Hindu Newspaper This Week Announced
They Will Dump Dow from Sponsoring November Music Festival

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) today launched a “Dump Your Dow” campaign marking the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal chemical disaster, coming up on December 3, 2009.  The campaign is encouraging people to dump Dow from their portfolios, shelves, and organizations. ICJB wants people to sell their Dow stock and donate a portion of their earnings to the people of Bhopal who are still experiencing serious respiratory illnesses, birth defects and reproductive problems due to contaminated water 25 years later.

“Dow has not taken responsibility for the atrocity in Bhopal, which continues to wreak havoc on the local people,” said ICJB’s North American Coordinator, Shana Ortman.  “While cries for justice fall on Dow’s deaf ears, we are asking people to help directly by donating to Bhopal organizations working for justice and medical care for a growing number of survivors.”   

As part of the Dump Your Dow campaign participants are encouraged to:

  • Dump Dow Stock – All Dow stockowners are encouraged to sell before December 3 and donate a portion of the earnings to the Sambhavna Clinic, which specializes in treating gas-affected persons. Institutional investment firms are especially encouraged to dump their Dow stock.
  • Dump Dow Products – Companies such as Clinique, Cover Girl, Coppertone and L’Oreal all use Dow products.  For a comprehensive list of which products to avoid visit www.dumpyourdow.org. 
  • Dump Dow Sponsorships – Just this week The Hindu newspaper cancelled Dow’s sponsorship of their November music festival due to the overwhelming response of protesters.  Ironically Dow is sponsoring a Live Earth event in April to spur “a massive global movement to help solve the water crisis”.  “Maybe they should start with the obvious,” said Ortman.  All organizations and events such as this are encouraged to dump Dow’s sponsorships until they clean up Bhopal and appear before the Bhopal District Court to face the criminal charges pending against them. Cities and Universities are also encouraged to pass a resolution to evaluate their Dow products and sponsorships, as they have already done in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Cambridge.

Why is Dow Responsible for Cleaning Up Bhopal?

On December 3, 1984 twenty-seven tons of lethal gases leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, immediately killing 8,000 people and poisoning thousands of others.  Six of the factory’s essential safety systems were malfunctioning or switched off as part of a cost-cutting exercise.  Today at least 150,000 people, including children born to parents who survived the disaster, are suffering from exposure-related health effects such as cancer, neurological damage, chaotic menstrual cycles and mental illness.
In 2001 Union Carbide became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company.   The laws in India and the U.S. state that the “polluter pays” principle applies, yet the water in Bhopal still contains alarmingly high levels of mercury, dichlorobenzene, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and other persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals.

The Indian Government has declared Union Carbide a fugitive of justice, because the company has refused to show up in court on charges of “culpable homicide” (or manslaughter).  Dow is considered to be harboring a fugitive on American soil, and ICJB is demanding that Dow surrenders their subsidiary to court. 
To commemorate the anniversary on December 3, dozens of events are being planned around the world.  To learn more visit www.dumpyourdow.org.

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