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+ JHADOO MARO DOW KO!+

The Universal Language of Jhadoo

Champa and Heera in South India


NITY WRITES FROM PONDICHERRY

Champa Devi and Heera Bai, survivors and activists from Bhopal, are now in Pondicherry (South India) on a "Jhadoo Maro" mobilisation tour. After spending a day meeting select journalists in Chennai, we have started the campaign leg of the 5-day "Jhadoo Maro" mobilisation campaign in Tamilnadu and Pondy.

It is pouring with rain here. Rains usually fail us, but this year we have now had 10 days of continuous rains. Reports indicate that there is a storm in the horizon. Champa Devi says this bodes well because there's a storm of anti-Dow sentiment brewing among people as well. Later this evening, a meeting is planned outside the gates of Anabond Essex, 50 percent owned by Essex Specialty Products -- itself a 100 percent Dow subsidiary. At the press conference this morning, Champa Devi issued a demand to the Government of India to attach the assets owned by Dow Chemical in the factory and offices of Anabond Essex, and other Dow subsidiaries and partners in India.

Champa Devi and Heera Bai are travelling in true Bhopali style with their trusted jhadoos (brooms) forever within reach. Having the brooms has made communications easy, even in this compulsively non-Hindi speaking part of India. Despite the language difficulties, the Tamil-speaking journalists at the Pondicherry Press Club were vigorously shaking their heads in comprehension when Champa Devi and Heera Bai wielded the woman's weapon. They got the point with very little recourse to translation.

Pasted below is the translation of the Press release issued from Pondicherry today. But before that, just a reminder of the activities for the next few days.

9 November, 2002: Public meeting at Thirubhuvanai Industrial Estate and a Condemnatory Meeting outside the gates of Anabond Essex in Thirubhuvanai, Pondy.

10 November, 2002: Jhadoo Maro rally-cum-public meeting of Pollution Impacted Communities in Cuddalore, Tamilnadu

11 November, 2002: Jhadoo Maro rally-cum-public meeting in Pondicherry

12 November, 2002: Public meeting with workers at Ambattur Industrial Estate, Chennai

13 November, 2002: Jhadoo Maro rally starting (3 p.m.) from Munro Statue and concluding at State Guest House, Chepauk, Chennai.


PONDICHERRY PRESS RELEASE

National Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, Pondicherry
46, 2nd Street, Perumalraja Thottam, Reddiarpalayam, Pondicherry 10.


9 November, 2002 -- 18 years have passed since the Bhopal gas disaster. Gas-affected people have suffered untold miseries. In the meantime, Union Carbide Corporation has sold its assets in February 2001 to US multinational Dow Chemical Company. Union Carbide has abandoned its toxic wastes in Bhopal, and has failed to clean it up. As a result, the poisons have contaminated everything from drinking water to mother's milk. The survivors of the disaster are yet to be adequately compensated. Dow Chemical, which has inherited Union Carbide, has refused to take responsibility for the pending liabilities. Neither has Dow taken any steps to clean up the toxic wastes.

Survivors' organisations have taken their demands to central and state governments, and the courts. Simultaneously, survivors' organisations have waged an unflagging struggle for justice for 18 years with the help of public interest organisations, environmental groups and human rights activists.
In Pondicherry:

For several years now, Pondicherry has witnessed an increase in chemical industries attracted here by subsidies and concessions. The impacts of these industries are felt in the seas where their chemical discharge has affected the marine ecosystem. Over-extraction of water by the industries and indiscriminate discharge of effluents on land and sea has affected the groundwater table. In some places, the groundwater is turning saline due to sea-water intrusion. At others, the groundwater is severely contaminated due to toxic effluents.
Under these circumstances, Dow Chemical, which has purchased Union Carbide of Bhopal notoriety, has been allowed to own 50 percent in Anabond Essex which operates a factory in Thirubhuvanai, Pondicherry. This factory is itself a a dangerous one and a known polluter of the environment. The people living around this factory would be well-advised to exercise caution.

Even as the demands of Dow-Carbide's victims in Bhopal remain unaddressed, the company has been allowed to operate a polluting unit in Pondicherry. We appeal to the people of Pondicherry to lend their solidarity with the gas-affected people of Bhopal, and to join the National Campaign for Justice in Bhopal in projecting the demands of the Bhopal survivors.

This evening, starting 5 p.m., a condemnatory meeting is organised at the gates of Anabond Essex in Thirubhuvanai. On 11 November, a massive procession demanding justice for the people of Bhopal will begin at Periyar Statue, near Balaji Cinema. The procession and protest will be joined by self-help groups, trade unions and labour organisations, agricultural workers and women. Two women -- who are gas victims and activists for justice in Bhopal -- will lead the rally.

Organisers:
Pondicherry Science Forum, Adecom Network, Eco Venture, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Pondicherry Government Employees Association, All India Kisan Sabha (Farmers' Union).

 

"Parliamo Jhadoo?"

Rashida and Dr Qaiser continue their tour, this week in Italy.

 

Greenpeace's Delcio writes: Today, with the support of the MV Esperanza crew, we held two simultaneous actions at a Dow plant in Livorno and at Dow Italy headquarters in Milan. The objectives of the twin action was firstly to arrange a meeting between Rashida Bee and Muhammad Quaiser with Dow executives in Milan. Secondly was to meet with worker representatives and plant managers at the Dow plant in Livorno. Both actions took place at approximately 10 am and achieved the goal of meeting with all levels of the Dow corporate family in Italy.

Dow's Italian bosses express their "shame"

In Milan Rashida and Mohammed joined Fabrizio Fabri from GP Italy and a team of Italian activists and met with the External relation director, the human resource director, a lawyer for Dow Italy and the regional
administration director in Milan. They gave no commitment on behalf of Dow but expressed personaly embarrassment and chose to express themselves as people first before they gave company line. They
expressed their shame, promised to take message to top management of the company. In the end, Rashida gave the broom to public relations director who accepted it while being photographed.

Ordered to refuse meetings with Greenpeace

In Livorno a GP delegation (Vittoria Pollidori and Domitilla Senni plus a journalist from the national magazine Espresso) met with the director of the plant, the director for external relations for Southern Europe and a representative of the workers. The Dow representatives were aware that GP Italy had asked for a meeting with their headquarters and also the ICJB activities around Europe. They reported that they had instructions from US to refuse meetings with GP, that everything is decided in the US, and that they must follow the company line. Our delegation asked the worker representative to inform his colleagues about why we were there and to issue an expression of solidarity to people of Bhopal. The labor representative said he would report our message to the workers but could not commit to response. He was obviously ill at ease to give a contrary position in front of his bosses, but did not rule it out..

Fear of volcanos overshadows summit

These activities coincided with the meeting of the European Social Forum. The Bhopal message was tied with the larger event. Media turnout in Milan and Livorno were both good despite fears of being overshadowed by the many activities of the Forum and also recent earthquake and volcano eruptions in Italy.

Other activities:


24th of october -- in Venice the Raghu Rai's exhibition was launched. The event was timed to address the first anniversary of the verdict on the Porto Marghera court case victims and environmental disaster exposure to VCM production cases. During its first week more than 1000 people visited the exhibition.

Coming up:

- Friday 8 Nov, open day of MV Esperanza in Naples harbour with the Bhopal exhibition on board;

- Saturday 9 Nov, workshop on Corporate Liability and Dow at the Europe Social Forum in Florence planned, including Rashida and Quaiser. More than 1000 national and international journalists are registered at the european social forum.

- Also today, Greenpeace Italy released a Dow cyberaction going to 3000 cyberactivists to send an email to president of Dow Italy and to support demands for justice in Bhopal -- clean up, compensation, medical assistance.

 

A smiling Dow Benelux executive accepts a jhadoo (and thus liability for Bhopal clean-up) from Rashida Bi

 

BELGIUM 29 OCTOBER Smiles and affability were the order of the Dow as the Bhopal survivors' siege of Dow Europe continued this week. It is scarcely a week since Dow's European CEO ran from the room when presented with a Bhopali broom by Champa Devi and only a few days since the public humiliation of Dow CEO Michael Parker at an environmental luncheon in Houston when he was presented with a broom and told to clean up his act by Bhopal activists.

Parker pointedly refused to accept the broom, creating a glorious photo-opportunity for reporters - the sight of an Indian woman with her arms outstretched while he studiously ignored her - yes, Greenpeace has the pictures.

It seems that Dow has now realised that cowardice and petulance are unlikely to do it any favours and so their PR geniuses have issued instructions to jhadooable Dow executives round the world that they must accept the brooms - and pretend to enjoy it!

In accepting the jhadoos they are also, in the eyes of survivors, accepting Dow's liabilities in Bhopal.

All last week and this, Bhopali gas-survivors Rashida Bi, leader of one of the most active of the Bhopali survivors' organisatsions, and Dr Mohammed Ali Qaiser, who works providing free care to gas-affected people, have been touring Europe seeking out Dow executives to award the Order of the Jhadoo. The tour, coming just days after Pranay and Champa Devi's jhadooing of Respini in Switzerland, took in Italy, Belgium and Holland.

Dow executives swept up by Rashida and Mohammed Ali Qaiser include Luc de Graef, Operation & Site Leader at Dow Haltercustom processing, Kallo; Patprick Bogaerts, Business Operations Executive at Dow's Edegam petrochemicals plant; Wimvan Noten of Dow Zwijndrcht and the site leader of Dow Tessendel - all in Belgium.

Said Dr Qaiser, "Rasheeda explained our situation and then handed over the brooms. They accepted them very politely and assured us they would pass on the message to their higher authorities."

But the top brass, the cowering Respini and sullen Parker, have already got the message, and although the cheesy grins are out in these pictures, the bonhomie cannot drown out the sound of grinding teeth emanating from the direction of Midland, Michigan.

In India to be hit with a broom is a supreme insult, worse even than to have chappals (slippers) thrown at one. Dow employees in India, their futures surely uncertain now that the company is about to be dragged into the ongoing criminal case in Bhopal, know this all too well.

The jhadoo is not just an insult, it carries a serious message. Says G. Krishnaveni, who handed the Bhopali broom to Parker, "I remember, by the time I walked up to Parker, I was quite angry. and I couldn't help saying some sarcastic thing like '......this is for your fantastic environmental work in Bhopal....from the women whose breast milk has been poisoned by lead and mercury...' He was so pissed off, I could sense him seething.

Yes, you can hear him quietly seething too, as he drones Dow's PR mantras, and catch Kinnu's remarks and interjections by listening to Jackson Allers' recording of the event, here.

Bhopal activists explain the significance of the jhadoo to a bemused official of the
European Chemical Industry Council in Brussels. Rashida Bi and Dr Qaiser are on the extreme right.

23 OCTOBER 2002

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE IN BHOPAL STRIKES AGAIN!

Kinnu presents the jhadoo to a nonplussed Parker

"Er, umm ...this wasn't in the script."

Nishant Jain bears silent witness as Parker begins trotting out his standard reply on Bhopal

Greenpeace's Jackie Downing demands justice on behalf of the gas survivors

Kinnu waits with outstretched jhaadoo as security men come to Parker's rescue

Kinnu & Co ruin poor Michael Parker's award lunch, and present Dow's bewildered CEO with two Bhopali jhadoo.

HOUSTON 23 OCTOBER, 1:30PM: JUST SPOKE TO AN EXCITED KINNU (G. Krishnaveni) who at the instant of writing is sitting dressed in sari, bindi and sundry finery in a downtown Houston photo-shop waiting for pictures of the coup she and friends mounted against Dow Chemical CEO Michael Parker at what was trumpeted by its organisers Nature Conservancy as: "Largest Annual Nature Conservancy Luncheon Event in Nation".

Parker, who had gone to a $75 a head luncheon in the city's upmarket Hyatt Hotel to receive an award for - if you can believe it - Dow's contribution to the environment, was stunned when a camera-woman taking pictures of him at the foot of the stage turned out to be none other than long term adversary Diane Wilson, famed shrimp-boat-captain-turned-activist and merciless scourge of Dow.

Diane interrupted Parker's remarks about Dow's commitment to the environment and said she had an important announcement to make. At this point local Dow staffers (including their Seadrift plant's foot-in-mouth specialist Kathy Hunt) recognised Diane and began gesturing frantically at their hapless chief, but Diane, utilising the power of lungs fortified by years at sea, told Parker that he had no business accepting an environmental award when his company had yet to clean up its toxic mess in Bhopal. "We have someone here from Bhopal with a better award for you," she told him in front of 500 bemused guests.

The Dow contingent at tables near the stage were booing and shouting "siddown", but fell silent when Kinnu appeared in her sari bearing two genuine Bhopali jhaadoos. Kinnu made her way to the stage and held out the brooms to Parker who, at this point, was as much at sea as ever Diane had been. Kinnu told Parker that he was a liar to say that Dow had no liabilities in Bhopal. She told him that women living near the abandoned factory have mercury and other toxins in their breast milk and demanded that Dow take immediate action to clean up its mess.

Parker flapped, and began repeating his old formula about remembering where he was in 1984 when he heard the news about Bhopal. Any activist who has written to Dow about Bhopal will be able to quote it word for word. Meanwhile, Nishant Jain mounted the stage and stood silently beside him holding a banner that read DOW, CLEAN UP YOUR TOXIC MESS IN BHOPAL. Greenpeace's Jackie Downing displayed another saying DOW, THE PEOPLE OF BHOPAL DEMAND JUSTICE.

 

   
 

DOW UNDER SIEGE

The Jhaadoo Maaro Campaign "Beat Dow with a broom" launched in Bhopal just over two weeks ago (see the foot of this page) has now penetrated to the heart of Dow and humiliated Dow CEO Michael Parker at what was planned to be a moment of "green glory". Two days ago in Switzerland, Dow's European CEO Respini ran from the room when presented with a jhaadoo by elderly female survivor Champa Devi (see preceding story below) as she rejected Dow's meaningless offer to make "a humanitarian gesture" and demanded that company face up to its legal liabilities. This demand was echoed last week by the Madhya Pradesh state government, which announced it will appeal to the Indian Supreme Court to force Dow to pay for the clean-up of the abandoned factory which is leaking cancer- and birth-defect-causing chemicals into the drinking water of surrounding communities. On the same day, the Indian CBI (like FBI but "Central" instead of "Federal") told reporters that it will apply to name Dow Chemical as Accused #10 in the on-going criminal trial in place of Dow's absconding subsidiary Union Carbide. Bleak days for Dow. And much worse to come. Watch this space.

 
     

Solving the problem would be so much better than useless PR

"Karla Aguilara, a local Houston activist had the most fun", Kinnu reported. From the moment Diane began the interruption, Karla started leafletting all the tables starting right at the back. By the time the organisers noticed - their attention was fixed on the plight of poor Michael Parker - Karla had done thirty tables, including the Dow tables which she had marked from the outset (placards bearing company names obligingly identified each table.) Says Kinnu, "So Karla made sure she not only distributed quite a bunch of leaflets on both these tables but also gave them a piece of friendly advice 'Investing a bit of capital in taking care of this issue would be so much better than this useless PR'."

Two people, neither of whom were at the Dow tables, threw back the leaflets at Karla, everyone else just took them! When Karla was finally escorted out to the parking lot, she leafletted the fancy cars parked there.

Nature Conservancy believes in the "Polluter Pays" principle. Polluter Pays Nature Conservancy.

Nature Conservancy is a creature of the corporate PR industry - an organisation funded by rich, polluting corporations to praise their token gestures (Dow paid $30,000 to fund the luncheon) and gloss over their misdeeds. It does this by selling its name and endorsement to corporations which give it money.

"Brand Identity Partners," says the Conservancy's own literature, "can align their products or corporate image with the Conservancy. The strategic marketing efforts help raise awareness of environmental issues and the Conservancy, and also help partner companies garner consumer support and loyalty." Oy vay.

Today's Dow-sponsored luncheon was being hosted by Nature Conservancy Texas to honour its "Brand Identity Partner", that well-known champion of the environment General Motors. What - we hear you ask? - the same General Motors which is a top-three Superfund polluter and which with other air polluters has conspired to "gut" U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to protect and improve air quality in and near national parks. Yes, that General Motors.

Apparently, over the past eight years, GM has donated over $5,800,000 in cash and more than 140 trucks to Nature Conservancy. It has also of course donated approaching $1 million just in Anti-Superfund PAC Contributions to Members of Congress from 1991-1998, let alone other anti-green PR expenditures.

On a web-page decorated with blue and yellow macaws Nature Conservancy describes its mission as "To preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive."

"How about protecting the land and water Bhopali women and children need to survive?" Kinnu asked the shell-shocked Parker, whose response was to shake his head and claim that Dow had no liabilities in Bhopal and that Carbide's liabilties had been fulfilled.
Even as he was uttering these old, tired stock-responses, Karla was distributing to the 500 guests material which showed him to be a liar.

Part of the material distributed at Michael Parker's luncheon.
Click on the pictures for high res jpegs. Please feel free to print the postcard and send it to everyone you know.

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Bhopal Activists Confront Dow Chemical CEO Michael Parker
Disrupt Houston Luncheon with Demands that Dow Clean Up their Liabilities in Bhopal

Houston 23 October, 1.30pm – Activists today interrupted a planned speech by Dow Chemical CEO Michael Parker, presenting him with authentic Indian brooms and a request that he take the symbolic gifts to show he will responsibly clean up his company’s liabilities in Bhopal, India.

Mr. Parker, a guest speaker at the Tenth Annual Houston Conservation Leadership Awards luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown, appeared shocked when approached by Bhopal activist, Houston resident and India native G Krishnaveni, who appeared at the luncheon in traditional Indian dress to offer Mr. Parker the brooms. Mr. Parker did not take the brooms and attempted to repeatedly interrupt Ms. Krishnaveni, while other activists passed out literature and held signs and banners inside the hotel.

"Dow must stop their stalling and take responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy," Ms. Krishnaveni stated. “The Bhopal disaster is far from over. With contaminated soil and ground water siting atop a still uncontained factory site, today babies are poisoned through a 'slow-motion Bhopal' by the toxins in their mother’s breast milk. Court cases in India and the United States are pending against Dow; while Dow drags their feet in court, Bhopalis are dying," she added.

Dow, who spent nearly 10 billion dollars (US) to purchase Union Carbide Corporation in February of 2001, has yet to deal with the toxic legacy of Carbide’s Bhopal pesticide plant, the site of the world’s largest industrial disaster. The infamous December 2, 1984 methyl isocyanate and hydrogen cyanide gas leak killed an estimated 8,000 within a few days; in total over 20,000 people have perished.

Joining Ms. Krishnaveni today was Seadrift, Texas, shrimper-turned-activist Diane Wilson. Ms. Wilson, whose nearly month-long hunger strike and civil disobedience at Dow’s Seadrift facility this summer, pressed Dow on their double standards. "When Dow bought Union Carbide last year, they settled outstanding asbestos litigation here in Texas. Instead of also constructively dealing with Bhopal, they attempt to greenwash their public image by sponsoring a conservation awards luncheon to the tune of $40,000. Where is the justice here?"

Greenpeace Campaigner Rob Fish, also present at today’s event, took note with the form letter reply that Mr. Parker and Dow have sent to the over 30,000 people who have requested that Dow take responsibility in Bhopal.

“Mr. Parker tells concerned citizens that Dow is engaged in meaningful dialogue with groups in Bhopal to discuss their concerns. This is simply not true. This international coalition has made their aims quite clear to Mr. Parker, expressing them to him directly during a meeting at this May’s Dow shareholder meeting in Midland, Michigan. Until we receive a meaningful and substantive reply from Dow that reflects our demands, our pressure will continue,” Fish said.

The International Coalition for Justice in Bhopal is calling on Dow Chemical to face trial in Indian and American courts, to clean up the Bhopal factory site at its expense as would be required in the U.S., to secure long-term medical treatment facilities and medical rehabilitation for the survivors of the poisonous gas leak, to ensure economic compensation for the gas-affected people and their families, and to provide clean drinking water.

To hear the story from the horse's mouth, contact:
G. Krishnaveni, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal on (832) 444-1731
Rob Fish, Greenpeace on (202) 415-0813
Photos and videography of event available upon request


You are of course already visiting www.bhopal.net, favourite haunt of the U.S. armed forces, please also visit www.greenpeaceusa.org/bhopal and www.corpwatchindia.org.
If you want to be kept up to date with the campaign, please join the remember-Bhopal mailing list by going to:
http://lists.essential.org/mailman/listinfo/remember-bhopal

 

 

 

21 OCTOBER 2002

DOW'S SWISS BOSS FLEES CHAMPA DEVI'S JHAADOO -
"JHAADOO MARO DOW KO!"

HORGEN, SWITZERLAND, 21 OCTOBER

WE'VE JUST HAD A CALL from Champa Devi and Pranay (second and third from left) who are in sunny Switzerland. The pair, both gas-survivors from Bhopal, have been staging a sit-in outside Dow's European Headquarters along with Greenpeace Switzerland members.

Dow Europe's CEO Respini grudgingly agreed to see the delegation and said he could find only five minutes to spare for them. Champa Devi used those minutes to reject Dow's offer to make a "humanitarian gesture" in Bhopal and reminded Respini that the survivors are asking for their legal rights, not for alms. She enumerated the campaign's four demands.

Champa Devi then ceremonially presented a "jhadoo" [broom] to Respini. "This, for some reason made him scared and run away from the room", reported Pranay.

We await Pranay's full report on the campaign so far in Switzerland.


"Jhadoo Maro Dow Ko!" (or "Beat Dow with a broom") is an initiative of the women survivors. Jhadoo actions in which Dow management are presented with brooms and told to clear up their death factory in Bhopal have so far happened in Bhopal, Switzerland and the US. If you would like to carry out a "Jhaadoo" action, and would like some Bhopali brooms, please contact us on
ukjusticeinbhopal@virgin.net

MEANWHILE...CBI WILL MOVE FOR DOW TO STAND TRIAL AS ACCUSED NUMBER #10

BHOPAL, 18 OCTOBER

We heard today from C. Sahay, prosecuting counsel for the CBI (Criminal Bureau of Investigation) that his client wants Dow Chemical Corporation to join its wholly owned subsidiary Union Carbide in the dock at the Central Criminal Court, Bhopal. Carbide, along with its ex-CEO Warren Anderson is accused of "culpable homicide" for its part in events leading to the leak of toxic gas which killed thousands on the night of 3rd December 1984 in Bhopal. Both Carbide (Accused #10) and Anderson (Accused #1) have been ignoring the summonses of the Court since 1992 and have been declared official "absconders from justice".

Dow Chemical, said Mr Sahay, is the 100% owner of Union Carbide Corporation and on this basis the CBI will seek permission from the Union government to name Dow alongside its criminally absconding subsidiary. Once permission is granted, Dow Chemicals will also be an accused in the case.

Under Indian law, as under US, UK and European law, a company which buys another company acquires not only its assets, but also its oustanding debts, liabilities and legal obligations. Dow Chemical has already accepted Carbide's asbestos liabilities in the United States. It has so far refused to accept Carbide's Bhopal liabilities on the grounds that all civil and criminal liabilities were extinguished by the 1989 settlement between Union Carbide and the then Indian Government of Rajiv Gandhi. Dow seems unable to remember or perhaps to grasp that the settlement was modified by the Indian Supreme Court's decision of 1991, specifically reviving the criminal charges - the same criminal charges from which Union Carbide and Anderson have been hiding ever since.

The move to name Dow as accused in the case came in response to the plea of Jai Prakash of Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahayoga Samiti, a survivor's organisation. Dow management in the United States should reflect that they were warned, both by survivors' groups and by their own shareholders, that buying Carbide would inevitably mean assuming liability for Bhopal and that Dow's assets in India would then come under threat. (Carbide's assets have long since been attached by the Court.)

Champa Devi spoke for all the survivor's organisations when she emphatically rejected Dow's disingenuous offer of a "humanitarian gesture" and told Dow Europe's CEO Respini in Switzerland yesterday that the corporation had no option but to accept its legal liabilities.

 

18 OCTOBER 2002

JHAADOO MAARO DOW KO! CHILDREN OUTSIDE BHOPAL COURT CALL FOR JUSTICE

 

At the Bhopal Magistrates Court, which reconvened yesterday for the first time since dramatically rejecting a bid to reduce charges against chief accused Warren Anderson, schoolchildren from the gas-affected areas of Bhopal came out to leave the CBI's lawyers in no doubt of what the city's people want.
     "Jhaadoo Maaro Dow Ko!", they shouted. "Beat Dow with brooms!"
     A CBI official informed the Judge, Chief Magistrate Rameshwar Kothe, that the Court's arrest warrant against Warren Anderson, former CEO of Union Carbide, who is Accused No 1, had been translated from Hindi into English and handed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so that extradition proceedings could begin.

       The children were not impressed by vague promises. "We have heard from our mothers and grandmothers what happened here. Many people are sick. We think the people who were responsible should be punished," said Bharati, 11.
     "If this happened in America," said Shekhar, 12, "the big boss Anderson would be in prison."


     Inside, the Court was hearing from Rajendra Singh Pundheer [RSP], Former Production Assistant at the Sevin Unit of the Union Carbide plant.

T.P. Singh (Prosecuting Counsel): When did you work in UCIL, Bhopal?
RSP: From 1972 to 1984.
TPS: Did UCIL, Bhopal provide you with any technical training?
RSP: No.
TPS: At which post did you work?
RSP: I was Production Assistant in the Sevin Unit
TPS: What were your responsibilities?
RSP: To look after production and meet targets.
TPS: In the Sevin Unit who was in charge of plant equipment?
RSP: Maintenance department used to look after that.
TPS: Who was in charge of personnel safety?
RSP: The shift in-charge.
TPS: On the night of the disaster which shift were you in?
RSP: ‘B’ Shift. 3 PM to 11 PM.
TPS: [shows the witness a paper] What document is this?
RSP: It is a log sheet for December 2, 1984 of Sevin Unit and it has my signature at the bottom.
TPS: According to the log sheet, on December 2, 1984 how much MIC did you receive from MIC Unit?
RSP: 1110 litres of MIC in liquid form.
TSP: According to the log sheet, what was the temperature of the liquid MIC?
RSP: It was 20 degrees centigrade.
TPS: According to the log sheet how much MIC was there in the tank?
RSP: There was 65 litres already in the tank and 1110 litres was further received so there were 1175 litres in the tank. The entry in the log sheet has been made by the operator and has been supervised by me.

In plain language, an untrained person was left to supervise a transfer of MIC (methyl isocyanate), well known to be a volatile and deadly chemical, that was stored and moved around on site in quantities that far exceeded all safety rules. (Tank 610, which exploded, was 70% full, against a safety maximum of 40%).

The liquid MIC was at a temperature of 20 degrees C. It was meant to be kept at 0 degrees C, but other former-workers at the Union Carbide plant have testified that the MIC storage tanks were no longer being refrigerated, by order of the management, in order to save a trivial sum on freon gas.

The case, without Anderson (Accused #1) or Carbide (Accused #10) continues...

Union Carbide's fatal Tank 610

 


 

 

 

6 OCTOBER 2002

   
 
   
 

"WE'LL BEAT DOW WITH OUR BROOMS"

"Clean up and clear off". Women launch "jhadoo maro" campaign. "We'll beat you with our brooms. We'll sweep you out of India.

   
 

5 OCTOBER 2002

WOMEN BRING BHOPAL TO A HALT

FROM SATHYU IN BHOPAL

Very successful "Jhadoo" rally yesterday. Over 200 women marched from near the Union Carbide factory with jhadoos in their hands to the bus stand and beat an effigy of Dow [looking not too unlike Ravi Muthukrishnan, Dow-India's current Managing Director and 'main agent of Dow's toxic colonialism' according to the women] with their jhadoos

While traffic at this busiest street crossing in the entire city stood still, the women proceeded to burn the effigy amidst chants of 'phool nahi chingari hain hum, jhadoo mari dow ko', ("We are not flowers, we are flames: beat Dow with the broom!") 'nai azaadi ki nai ladai, jhadoo maro dow ko', ("The new struggle for a new freedom, beat Dow with a broom!) 'idhar sey maro udhar sey maro, jhadoo maro dow ko' ("Hit them from this side, hit them from that side, beat Dow with a broom!"). Armed police, patrol cars, paddy wagons lined the entire stretch of the 1.5 kilometer march with a super heavy presence at the crossing. The police remained peaceful despite the fact that, in keeping with their tradition the women had neither informed nor sought police permission. It helped to have almost all the local and national tv channels and those in the print media accompanying the march till the very end.



Today's met report says yesterday was the hottest day in 52 years [37.6 degrees]. Sheila Thakur [50] and Hajra Bi [40] nearly collapsed at the end of the rally and 63 women in various states of discomfort and exhaustion had to be bussed back. But the spirit was brilliant. What was also amazing was to see what a clear statement a woman makes and conveys when she has a jhadoo in her hand and is marching with her sisters. Awe was obvious on the face of the police and hundreds of male onlookers along the march.

After a days of rest [plus the weeks washing and purchases and other domestic duties]on Sunday the women will begin collecting jhadoos from different communities. All to be hand delivered to Dow-India's headquarters in Mumbai at a later point of time. Soon a group of women survivors will be touring South India to spread the jhadoo maaro campaign.