About 300 Bhopal survivors were forcefully arrested in a premeditated attack by the Delhi police this morning. This included 35 infants and children. Old women were kicked in the chest; several were hospitalized.
You can read up-to-the-minute news and see the grim photos of the arrest at https://www.bhopal.net/march/.
An update you won’t read on the blog:
At 3:45, 45 minutes before the promised allowed time to be in front of the Shastri Bhavan (where the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is, the dept responsible for taking care of affected Bhopalis) the police took down the barricades and arrested everybody — a sudden, clear, and vicious backstab.
Many people were carried, dragged, yanked, and shoved into buses. There were several busloads in all. There were about three times as many cops as activists (NYPD style). Lots of huge sticks, big vests, helmets, and about 10 trucks and buses filled with these thugs. The whole street was clogged up with cops. Special effort was made to prevent us from photographing. We had to run away to get out of there without having our camera footage taken away.
They were all singing in the buses as they were driven away.
THIS is how the Indian Government has chosen to treat the Bhopalis, including those who walked 500 miles to meet their Prime Minister.
It is a cause for shame.
It is a cause for outrage.
It is a cause for action.
A hungerstrike appears imminent, and global solidarity will be necessary. More as this develops. In the meanwhile:
Do this for Bhopal.
Do this for justice
Do this NOW
Please take action & forward this widely:
ACTION ALERT! ACTION ALERT! ACTION ALERT!
Approximately 300 Bhopal survivors (including 35 infants and children) have been forcefully arrested and some beaten and hospitalized in a premeditated attack by the Delhi police. They include 50 padyatris – Bhopal survivors who just arrived in Delhi after walking 500 miles from Bhopal over the past five weeks, all in the hopes of meeting their Prime Minister and presenting their demands for clean water, justice and a life of dignity.
1. Send a fax: http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/FaxAction/fax_action.php. Although the database function isn’t working (it should be fixed tonight), the faxes are still getting through. Collect a petition and enter the names and emails manually. Do what it takes, do what you can.
2. Call & Email the embassy. See the draft conversation & email below:
Sample Conversation: (Please personalize your message)
Indian Embassy: (202) 939-7010
Embassy: Hello, Indian Embassy.
YOU: Hi my name is MY NAME, I am calling in support of the survivors of the Bhopal chemical disaster who have been forcibly removed from their protest site at the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers by the Delhi Police after a 800 km march from Bhopal.
YOU: This is an outrage. They were exerting their democratic rights to be heard by their government and should not have been arrested. Additionally several older women were assaulted and had be hospitalized. All of the protestors need to be released and returned to their site of protest. Can you assure me you will pass this message on to the Prime Minister’s office and the Delhi police?
Embassy: Can you e-mail it to me I will pass it on that way.
YOU: I will, thank you. Please pass on this message as soon as possible.
Indian Embassy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ambassador Sen
I am writing to express my outrage and disappointment that the police have arrested 300 Bhopal disaster survivors protesting at the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in New Delhi. Please forward this request to your government in Delhi and the police: the protesters should be released immediately and returned to their original place of protest, where they should be allowed to remain unmolested. Given that the protesters were assembling peacefully for a permitted protest, no on should have been arrested or harmed. Instead they were forcibly removed and some were beaten – landing several elderly survivors in the hospital and more than 35 infants and children in jail. This kind of suppression of democratic protest is uncalled for and I expect that a full apology to the survivors will be forthcoming immediately.
Please let us know you’ve taken action by sending a blank email to: email@example.com
Read the latest updates and see photos from the arrest: https://www.bhopal.net/march/
Read the survivors demands: http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/MarchToDelhi.htm#Demands
Read more about the March to Delhi: http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/MarchToDelhi.htm
Download a booklet in PDF format of the survivors’ demands and supporting factsheets. 5.5mb.
Coordinator, Students for Bhopal