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(for earlier news please visit our archives)
serendipity or has Bhopal.Net started a trend
in inflammable undies? Today's Guardian carries
a cartoon by the excellent Steve Bell featuring heroic
"Toto" Blair in combusting panties. Was
this inspired by our treatment of 'Burnt Willy' Stavropoulos
four stories below? Only Steve knows, but why not
him and plead with him very nicely to do a cartoon
specially for Bhopal.Net? Meanwhile,
to misquote Ionesco:
caleçon prit feu
La slip prit feu
Les culottes prirent feu
Les Y-fronts prirent feu
to see Steve's cartoon on the Guardian site
Yet more coverage of Mike "Fall Guy" Parker's
move from the Dow frying pan to the BNFL fire. This
time it's the UK's Independent, reporting that
"Mr Parker takes with him from Dow memories of
the Union Carbide debacle, a bitter campaign which
criticised Dow's £4bn acquisition of the company
responsible for more than 14,000 deaths."
Now then, which campaign? Could it be the International
Campaign for Justice in _______?What was the Union
Carbide debacle? It can only be the _______ Gas Disaster,
surely. But with only 14,000 alleged deaths, it can't
be _______ can it, because the official death toll
there has already climbed past 22,000.
very mysterious. If ______.net readers can
work out what the crucial missing word should be,
perhaps they would inform The Independent by
emailing the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be polite and kind, the
is doing a fine job of hanging Tony Blair out to dry
in from Steve Tvedten, a
letter he received recently from Doctor John S Blye,
who has some new ideas on treating people who have
been poisoned by pesticides. Instead of concentrating
on finding a genetic link, Blye suggests, we should
also be looking for a more common and "much more
damning" effect: brain swelling or encephalitis
that can cause massive problems up to and including
death. Reading his letter, Bhopal.Net remembered
a young girl, the victim of multiple brain seizures,
who lives just across the railway track from the Union
Carbide factory where thousands of tons of pesticides
lie abandoned by the company with no thought of the
harm they can do to sweet children like Nusrat Jehan
who has never harmed a soul in her life. When Dow
bosses - who refuse to clear up their subsidiary's
mess blather about responsibility
(see foot of this page) and corporate accountability,
it should make all of us sick. Dow may yet die of
members from several local unions in Southeast Michigan
including PACE, the key chemical workers union, gathered
at the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Local 22 hall
in Southfield, Michigan to discuss the visit of Bhopal
survivors and trade unionists Rasheeda Bi and Champa
Nityanand Jayaraman of the ICJB proposed that unions
and social justice groups around the world declare
December 3, the anniversary of the
Union Carbide disaster, International Day of Action
Against Corporate Crime, and asked those present
to encourage their unions to join the declaration.
The upcoming Labor Notes Conference will include a
strategy meeting to plan for this worldwide day of
action against Dow and other corporations who ignore
their responsibility to the workers and communities
full story here.
NB: Bhopal.Net booboo. Apologies to readers
who clicked this link earlier and found themselves
directed to a story about domain name fraud. It seems
that unscrupulous companies are creating domains that
sound like genuine ones and directing people to these
dodgy sites. Bhopal.Com springs to mind, hein? However
Bhopal.Net is not blaming Dow for this cock-up which
was entirely our own. :)
Parker, the luckless Dow CEO ousted in last December's
putsch by William 'Pants on Fire' Stavropoulos
[see Bhopal.Net news archive], has been
tipped for the post of Chief Executive of BNFL, or
British Nuclear Fuels (as it these days prefers not
to be known). Today's report in the Financial Times
points out that Parker's demise at Dow followed
a two-year period in which the company's profits slumped.
The FT correctly ascribes this to "the decision
to buy its former rival [Union Carbide in 1999]
- whose reputation was tarnished by a mixture
of devastating toxic leaks in India in 1984 [Bhopal,
in case you hadn't guessed], its lower-margin
chemical business and asbestos liabilities" and,
also correctly, points out that the decision to acquire
Carbide was made not by Parker but by his wily predecessor
'Pants on Fire' Stavropoulos. Parker seems to have
been the fall guy. He was allowed to carry the can
for the disaster that befell Dow once it had inherited
the thrice-cursed Carbide. After being sufficiently
discredited, he was sacked. Guess who then reappeared
as Saviour of Dow to replace him? -- Why, he of the
flaming pantaloons, 'Burnt Willy'.
little bird tells us that knives in the Dow boardroom
are now out for Willy (that's life at the top for
you), but this will be small comfort to Parker, who
at BNFL is assured of yet more torrid politics. The
company (which reprocesses or, comme on dit,
recycles nuclear waste and whose sole shareholder
is the British government) has for years been itching
to float itself on the stock market. Its last attempt
was well and truly buggered by revelations that it
had falsified safety data about its reprocessed MOX
[Mixed Oxide] fuel, and angry customers in Japan,
Switzerland and Germany suspending and threatening
to cancel their contracts.
memory being short and occupied with more important
matters (dammit there's a new Big Brother on
and David Beckham has gone to Real Madrid), the would-be
privateers are once more going for it and yet again
it's old Mike who'll be in the hot seat when the inevitable
almighty bloody row breaks out.
falsification aside, BNFL is a scandal-rich environment,
so Mike should feel at home. He presumably already
knows about the dodgy
deals involving BNFL and radioactive waste left behind
at Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Paducah, Kentucky by that
famous polluter Union Carbide. These deals were
being done in 1999, even as the BNFL fuel inspectors
were carefully falsifying their MOX safety data and
'Pants on Fire' was finalising his takeover of Carbide.
Mike Parker can hone his CEOmanship by emulating the
man who stitched him up at Dow.
readers will recall that 'Pants on Fire' recently
lied to shareholders at the Dow AGM by stating there
was no ongoing criminal case against Union Carbide
in India (there is of course, it has only been going
on for 11 years). Bhopal.Net
suggests that when potential investors quiz Mike about
the embarrassing and potentially costly lawsuit being
brought against BNFL by the Irish government for filling
the Irish Sea with plutonium, Parker should give a
light laugh and reply "Lawsuit? What lawsuit?"
Good luck with the job, Mike!
reporting by Sarvadarshi inside Dow HQ, Michigan
doing BNFL type stuff
(Click to find Mike Parker)
(Touch him and see his bloomers blaze)
Iraqi Women's League has issued a dramatic appeal
to women's groups everywhere to support its call for
justice, democracy, free elections and the right to
live without fear in Iraq. The IWL, which had struggled
for years against the Ba'athist dictatorship of Saddam
Hussein - many of its members were imprisoned or "disappeared"
by the regime - says the US-UK promise of "freedom"
for the people of Iraq was a cynical excuse for an
invasion designed to subjugate them to the wills of
greedy US corporations. Bhopali women, who vehemently
opposed the war, offer their fullest support and
Read the IWL statement and contact them here.
war demo in Bhopal protesting
against those who play Holi, the festival of colours,
in blood (click to enlarge)
Duane "Dog" Chapman has been in the news
recently, as the man who recaptured absconding multiple-rapist
and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster, the man who gives
new meaning to the scurrilous old rhyme "Max
Factor Knacker Lacquer adds Luster to your Cluster"
(which this journal discovered some years ago chalked
in the urinal of a Cambridge College).
39 year old "Dog" who describes himself
as "the greatest bounty hunter in the world",
makes his living tracking down fugitives from justice.
As he says on his website, "Anyone with a warrant
becomes Dog's prey . . . From 18 to 80 Blind crippled
or Crazy If they cant walk or crawl well
Drag Em Back.
of which bodes ill for Warren Anderson, long time
bail-jumper and absconder from justice for eleven
long years, who has a warrant for his arrest out from
a court in Bhopal where he is accused of "culpable
homicide" involving the deaths of more than 20,000
has approached "Dog" to ascertain his willingness
to pursue the fugitive Anderson. We await his response
with eager anticipation and will keep you, our readers,
informed of developments.
please do visit the man's site at www.dogthebountyhunter.com
sign our online petition demanding that the Indian
government obey forthwith the court's order to extradite
Warren Anderson from the United States and produce
him for trial in Bhopal.
has kept the survivors going, through eighteen years
of struggle against giant, ruthless and immoral powers?
Hope, where there is no cause for hope. Courage, when
all that's left is struggle. Songs like 'Hillele jagjor
duniya'. Hear this enthusiastic impromptu performance
recorded during the survivor's May 2003 tour of the
United States. Come on, let's all sing along . . .
English translation here.
(NB, enormous MP3 file 5.7mb)
Aussie who is clearly not a fan of the USA has published
a list of 76 reasons why people around the world hate
His reason #59 is the Bhopal disaster
and the US multinational's chief concern being not
with its victims but with how to get away with paying
as little compensation as possible.
That of course remains the
case today, with Carbide now hiding like a toxic Jonah
inside the belly of Dow Chemical. However we in the
ICJB and Bhopalis in general do not hate America or
Americans. Many of our most active campaigners and
greatest friends are Americans: Ward Morehouse, who
campaigned almost single-handed on this issue for
years, Diane Wilson, who launched last year's global
hunger strike, all those who supported us during the
survivors' tour in April-May this year.
We do despise those who put profit
before human lives and health, who lie to evade their
responsibilities, who use their financial and political
power to obstruct, delay and pervert justice. These
people, who richly deserve our contempt and loathing
include Indians as well as Americans. Warren Anderson,
the Carbide Chairman who has been absconding from
a Bhopal court for eleven years is American, the politicians
in New Delhi who have made no move to extradite him
Regardless of nationality,
religion or politics there are basically three sorts
of people. There are the uninvolved who either do
not know or do not want to know about the injustice
in the world. Then there are the bastards who commit,
collude in, and cover-up injustices. The people of
the third sort are those who discover that they care
passionately about what happens to others and who
take it upon themselves to do something about it.
Which are you?
here to join the International Campaign for Justice
DELHI (Reuters) - A 13-year-old Indian boy has begun
producing winged beetles in his urine after hatching
the eggs in his body, according to a senior medical
the whole ghastly tale here.
were sent this story by the redoubtable Steve Tvedten,
who tirelessly campaigns to expose the damage done
by pesticides and to promote safer, non-toxic alternatives.
Try as we may we cannot find a pesticide angle to
this story and assume that it was so weird that Steve
just couldn't resist circulating it. If that excuse
is good enough for him it's good enough for us.
Click here to
visit Steve's website and sign up for his bulletins.
writer Lynn Truss has launched an all-out no-holds-barred
war against misused apostrophes. Her targets not only
include the nation's grocers famous for handlettered
signs such as "Mango's £1.59 each"
but those who might, for instance, write "The
company lied about it's responsibilities". People
who abuse the little tadpole-shaped bits of punctuation
arouse her ire to such a degree that on a recent BBC
Radio 4 programme she cried, "Why does the Apostrophe
Protection Society not have a militant wing? Can I
start one? Where do you get balaclavas?"
You can join her campaign
by emailing email@example.com
or, if you'd rather spend your time and energy on
something rather more important, click
here instead and join the International Campaign for
Justice in Bhopal.
June 5 2003 The
Herald Tribune, or the "Horrible Terrible"
as it is apparently known, has just performed a major
act of bowel suction in respect of ageing Dow ex-supremo
Frank Popoff. Writing
in the Bloomington Free Press, journalist Jason
Vest exposes the cynicism of this act of worship,
comparing recent performances of the US media to those
of Pravda in Soviet Union days. While Popoff is allowed
to get away with the usual pious statements about
corporate responsibility and express horror over the
misdeeds over corporate outlaws like Enron, the Herald
Tribune's obsequious reporter never bothered to challenge
him on Dow's many blatant irresponsibilities, nor
ask him about the Enron-type scandal in which he,
Popoff, is himself thoroughly implicated. If US newspapers
surrender their much trumpeted freedom, their main
value will be to be torn into small squares, hung
on a nail and used as toilet paper. Although in this
case that is not needed, because the H-T has already
been there done that, taken care of that little job.
Read Jason Vert's article
said it, William,
and you will be held to it.
Every last jot and tittle of it.
People like you and
corporations like yours will
have to learn the hard way
that you cannot keep lying
and getting away with it.
for a change,
living up to your responsibilities
to the people of Bhopal,
and cleaning up your factory
that after eighteen years
is still manufacturing corpses?
about turning up
to the court from which Union Carbide
wholly owned subsidiary
has been absconding for 11 years,
and facing those criminal charges
whose existence you denied
to your stockholders last month?
Survivors' US tour notches
up a string of successes
June 2003. Champa Devi Shukla and Rasheeda Bee have
returned to India declaring their month long tour
of the US a great success and calling on all Bhopal
supporters to observe December 3rd as a Global Day
of Action Against Corporate Crime. Read
their press statement here.
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