November 8 Call-in Action: More Information

Raise your voice on Monday, November 8 by calling the White House

How and why to take action in solidarity with Bhopalis on this day

Why to take action

“Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, then go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman, American Theologian and activist

If your reading this page, chances are Bhopal is an issue that makes you come alive.  You are part of a worldwide community that believes Bhopal will not be forgotten until it is properly taken care of.  This fall, you have a chance to express your concern for the people of Bhopal who still suffer from the ongoing environmental and public health crisis in their Indian city.

Following months of safety cuts, on Dec 3, 1984 the American-owned Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal leaked deadly gas containing Methyl isocyanate (MIC) over the city of Bhopal. In the immediate aftermath 8-12,000 people died.  Currently the death toll has risen to approximately 25,000 people. Over 100,000 people are still too sick to work because of long-term health disability.  In 2001, Michigan-based Dow Chemical Corporation became the 100% owner of Union Carbide.

Historically, the U.S. has taken a poor stance on the issue.  In February 1992, the Chief Justice Magistrate of Bhopal declared top Union Carbide official in India, Warren Anderson, and the Union Carbide Corporation absconders from the court.  To this day, the American government has not pressured Anderson or Union Carbide (current owner, Dow Chemical) to face trial in India.  If anything, the American government has been protecting Dow from its liability.

Action tips

Aside from the sample conversation listed on http://studentsforbhopal.org/raiseyourvoice, here are a few pointers about communication with the U.S. government.

What to convey

  • Concern for the people still affected by the unresolved 1984 gas tragedy
  • Dismay with the current Administration’s stance on Bhopal
  • The urgency of the situation – a 2009 study by the Bhopal Medical Appeal and the Sambhavna Trust Clinic showed that toxic contamination in the groundwater is spreading
  • The issue is not going to go  away on its own.  Since an American corporation is involved, the U.S. government should actively engage in solving the human rights crisis
  • Appreciation for the person’s time and attention

Remember to…

  • State your first and last name, and what, if any, organization you represent
  • Promptly say why you’re calling and what you are looking for
  • Restate your name and your purpose if you get redirected
  • Be prepared, be concise, and be polite
  • Make sure your call is counted! Tell us that you took action by filling out the form here

Further questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us:

Claire Rosenfeld, claire@panna.org, (408) 348-2554

Shana Ortman, shana@panna.org, (415) 746-0306

Thank you for your support!  We couldn’t do it without passionate and involved people like yourself.

 

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