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+ JHADOO MARO DOW KO! +
 


We, the women survivors of the Union Carbide disaster of 1984 have issued an ultimatum to Midland, Michigan-based Dow Chemical Company, Carbide’s new owner -- "Clean Up Bhopal" or prepare yourself to be dishonourably swept away from India.

We gave Dow Chemical a chance to respond to our demands honourably. They have ignored us and insulted our suffering.



Eighteen years after Union Carbide’s deadly gas leak in Bhopal, Carbide's victims have yet to be adequately compensated. At least 10,000 people continue to be exposed to the toxic emissions from the hazardous wastes abandoned by Union Carbide at the factory site.

These poisons have seeped into the groundwater and are showing up in the breast milk of mothers living near the factory. The effects on us have been devastating. Many of us have been unable to conceive; thousands miscarried, never to conceive again, due to the effects of the poison gas; others have given birth to malformed babies; many of our girls are suffer from irregular menstrual cycles with some complaining of several cycles a month.

Dow Chemical has refused to clean up the mess. Nor has it done anything towards medical or economic rehabilitation of the more than 150,000 people who are chronically ill because of the long-term effects of the poison gases.


Our demands to Dow:

1. Submit to the ongoing criminal proceedings in India as the new owner of Union Carbide, an accused in the Bhopal Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court;

2. Clean up contaminated areas within and outside factory, and the poisoned groundwater;

3. Release medical information about toxicity of MIC and poison gases, and arrange for long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation of survivors and their children;

4. Arrange for long-term economic rehabilitation of survivors whose quality of life and livelihoods have suffered as a consequence of the disaster.


On October 5, 2002, women brandishing used jhadoos (Indian brooms) marched on the streets of Bhopal and gave a sound thrashing to an effigy of Dow Chemical Company, the owner of Union Carbide. Being struck by a broom is the ultimate insult; we save it for use only against the worst of our adversaries. For women in India, the broom is the personal weapon of choice for fighting against injustices within our homes or outside. Now, we'll turn it into a political weapon against the perpetrators of the world's worst (and ongoing) industrial disaster.

Like us, many of you are probably at the receiving end of corporate criminality. Here we have an opportunity not only to gain justice for Bhopal, but to also tell corporations that might is not right. That when people unite, corporations and their money mean nothing.

We appeal to you to join us in the fight for justice in Bhopal, and the in the fight to ensure that there are No More Bhopals.


Signed/-

Rasheeda Bi, Champa Devi Shukla, Nafeesa Bi, Masooda Bi, Jameela Bi, Ayesha Bi, Parvati Pande, Genda Bai, Fatima Bi, Rakhi, Yashoda Devi, Heera Bai, Chanda Sahu, Chandrakala, Shabnam, Abida Bi, Malati bai, Krishna Bai, Leela bai, Shobha Yadav, Seema, Rukhshana, Anju and other women survivors of Bhopal


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

INDIVIDUALS:


Print out the Bhopal Fact File below.

· Talk to your neighbours, your colleagues at office, your co-students at school, your parents, your children, about the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster and the ongoing human rights disaster in Bhopal.

· Tell them how Dow Chemical, the world’s largest chemical company, is sitting by and watching innocent Bhopalis die by the day instead of addressing the pending liabilities of Union Carbide, a company it recently acquired.

· Tell them about the "Jhadoo Maro Dow Ko" [Hit Dow with a Broom] campaign launched by the women of Bhopal.

ACTION: Ask them to donate their used broom(s) (Don’t spend money on purchasing a new broom!). Take the signatures of those who donate brooms, and write a personal note to:

Mr. Michael Parker, CEO, Dow Chemical Company.

Courier/mail it to your nearest Dow office. If you’re in India, you may send the package to:

Deepika D’Souza
5th Floor, Jain School, 84 Samuel Street
Dongri, Mumbai 400 009.
Tel: 022 3759657

NOTE: Make sure you send us, nity68@vsnl.com and editor@bhopal.net a note with the names of those who donated brooms, and a copy of your personal statement for display on our www.bhopal.net website.


GROUPS/NGOs/TRADE UNIONS/COLLECTIVES:

Print out the Bhopal factfile below.

· Organise a rally-cum-public meeting with the participation of mass organizations, particularly organizations and collectives representing women and workers. Use your imagination to publicly Jhadoo Maro Dow (Hit Dow with a Broom). You can use effigies; you can march the streets armed with brooms; you can set up a ceremony of depositing brooms in a container for delivery to Dow. Or better still, you can do all this in front of your friendly neighborhood Dow office.

Here are the locations of all known Dow/Union Carbide offices:
Addresses and phone numbers of Dow/Union Carbide facilities worldwide


· Send us your plans in advance - email: nity68@vsnl.com and editor@bhopal.net

· Send a copy of your press statement and pictures from the event.

· If you’re in India, you may send the brooms to:

Deepika D’Souza
5th Floor, Jain School, 84 Samuel Street
Dongri, Mumbai 400 009. Tel: 022 3759657

For more information, contact:
India: nity68@vsnl.com.
USA: rbodanyi@studentsforbhopal.org
UK/Europe: tim@lifecycle.demon.co.uk or editor@bhopal.net


THE BHOPAL FACT FILE

December 2-3, 1984 - Poisonous gas leak from Union Carbides pesticides factory. First Information Report filed on December 4. In three days around 8,000 people die: www.bhopal.net/oldsite/death-toll.html

December 7, 1984 - Prime accused and Carbide chairman Warren Anderson amongst nine others arrested, released on bail of Rs 25,000. Union Carbide named as accused #10 in the criminal case charging culpable homicide. Subsequently, Anderson declared fugitive from justice after failing to appear in criminal proceedings in India.

February 1989- Government and Union Carbide strike a settlement. Compensation amount brought down to $470 million from $3.3 billion.

November 1994- Supreme allows Union Carbide to sell off its encumbered assets to fund a hospital. Criminal proceedings against Union Carbide become difficult to enforce because, although the accused refuse to appear in Court, Carbide no longer has any assets in India.

August 1999 - Union Carbide announces forthcoming merger with Dow Chemical Company.

November 1999 - Greenpeace tests soil, groundwater and wells in and around the derelict Union Carbide factory and finds 12 volatile organic chemicals and mercury in quantities up to 6 million times higher than expected. The toxic inventory includes sevin, temik, lindane carbon tetrachloride, dichlorobenzenes and others. A report by Delhi based Shristi in Jan 2002 found lead and mercury in the breast milk of nursing mothers in neighbouring communities: www.bhopal.net/oldsite/contamination.html

November 1999 - Several victims of Bhopal disaster file class action suit against Union Carbide and its former CEO, Warren Anderson, in federal court in New York, charging Carbide with violating international human rights law, environmental law, and international criminal law.

February 2001 - Dow-Carbide merger occurs. Dow inherits assets and liabilities of Union Carbide. However, Dow claims it is not responsible for a factory it didn't operate. This position is legally untenable under Indian and U.S. law. Survivors demand Dow should be held responsible for all medical and environmental liabilities in Bhopal and that pending criminal liabilities against UCC be transferred to Dow. Dow's $10 billion acquisition of Union Carbide opens the possibility of enforcing criminal liability against the corporation as Dow has four subsidiaries and assets in India.

January 9, 2002 - Dow accepts Carbide's liabilities in the U.S. and settles a Texas asbestos lawsuit originally filed against Union Carbide. Its share price skids 23%, to close at $26.83 on Jan. 18. The plunge wiped out $7.16 billion in equity and put Dow shares back where they were in October, 2000.

August 28, 2002- Charges of culpable homicide reaffirmed against Warren Anderson by Chief Judicial Magistrate Kothe in Bhopal court. Court demands his immediate extradition.

October 6 2002 - "Jhaadoo Maaro Dow Ko"campaign launched by survivors in Bhopal. The phrase means “Hit Dow with a broom”. It is an invitation for Dow to clean up its toxic mess and a promise to sweep Dow out of India if it does not.

October 18 2002 - The Indian CBI’s Mr Sahay states that he has appealed to the Union government to name Dow alongside its criminally absconding subsidiary Carbide. Once permission is granted, Dow Chemicals will also be an accused in the case.

October 21 2002 - The Indian State of Madhya Pradesh (of which Bhopal is the capital city) announces that it will petition the Indian Supreme Court to compel Dow Chemical to clean up the contaminated soil and ground water at the Union Carbide factory site.

October 21 - 23 2002
- Indian Minister of State for Home Affairs I D Swamy and External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha in separate interviews tell reporters that India is proceeding with an application to extradite Carbide’s ex-CEO Warren Anderson from the US.

October 25 2002 - Guidelines drawn up by Greenpeace for the clean-up of Carbide’s abandoned factory site are presented to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh and simultaneously handed to Dow offices in India, Europe and the USA. Clean up costs could top $500 million.

For constant updates and the latest news as it occurs please keep checking http://www.bhopal.net

 
 

 

See other actions from the Jhadoo Maro campaign here

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

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.

More pictures, background and women's launch statement here.