It was snowing, it was cold but the AID Milwaukee volunteers were steadfast in our resolve to demand justice for the victims of the Bhopal Gas Disaster. The message that volunteers wanted to convey when they gathered in front of Milwaukee public library was short and clear: Dow, Clean Bhopal now! The vigil was to observe the 21st Anniversary of Bhopal Gas disaster and was organized by AID Milwaukee along with “Education for People”, a grassroots community-based advocacy organization head quartered in Milwaukee (http://educationforthepeople.org).
The event started in front of the Milwaukee Public library and the goal was to spread awareness for the cause. A night before volunteers prepared a few posters, which would be used the next day to promote awareness of the campaign. “We got 50 honks in our support”, remarked Krishna while talking about the success the event received. The group then walked together towards the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the Milwaukee Court house where they lit candles and a minute of silence was observed to remember those who died. The cold and heavy snow was a deterrent but not enough to stop people from speaking out their views on the issue. Ashish, an AID volunteer echoed the demands of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB). He said, Dow should clean up the toxic waste from the site, provide long-term health care to those affected, face trial in the court and provide economic and social support to the victims. Prem talked about few of the achievements for the campaign in the last year, with the notable ones being the order of the Supreme Court of India asking Madhya Pradesh Government to supply clean drinking water and the Indian Oil Corporation cancellation of purchase of technology from Dow Chemicals. Matt Nelson, director of “Education for People” talked about corporate accountability and how some corporations have destroyed communities but have not been held accountable for that. With Matt’s remark the event came to an end with the resolve that we will keep fighting for the Justice in Bhopal.