|INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE IN BHOPAL
Bhopal Activists End Hunger Strike on 12th
Launch Global Relay Fast
Washington, D.C. 12
May, 2003 -- Two women survivors and a long-time Bhopal activist today
12-day hunger strike for justice in Bhopal at the Gandhi Statue in front
of the Indian Embassy today in
Washington, D.C. They called upon supporters worldwide to sign on to the
Worldwide Relay Hunger Strike
for Justice in Bhopal and keep it alive until the 19th Bhopal anniversary
on December 3, 2003.
.More than 40 people,
including representatives from PACE International Union, Greenpeace, Health
Care Without Harm, D.C. Collective, Code Pink Women for Peace and Association
for India's Development attended the gathering, and issued statements
Mr. Anil Chowdhry,
Minister for Personal and Community Affairs, met the Bhopal delegation
and assured them that he would communicate to the Government of India
their demands -- namel, extradition of Anderson and inclusion of Dow Chemical
as an accused in the Bhopal criminal case.
Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, a global coalition led by survivors, declared
December 3 as the Global Day of Action Against Corporate Crime and has
appealed to trade unions, public interest organizations and those protesting
the abuses of globalization to observe the day by organizing activities
to fight for justice against corporate crimes in their localities.
is justice denied. The Indian Government should expedite the extradition
Anderson and move rapidly to include Dow in the criminal case against
Union Carbide in Bhopal, said
Rashida Bee, president of the Bhopal Gas-affected Women Stationery Workers
Association, a trade union
that is a member of the global coalition. Despite repeated orders by the
Bhopal district court to
expedite the trial, the Indian Government has been reluctant to bring
UCC and Anderson to justice
fueling speculation that it has succumbed to pressure from the US multinational.
On May 8, the International
Campaign for Justice in Bhopal confronted Dow Chemical, the new owners
Union Carbide, outside its annual shareholders meeting in Midland, Michigan.
Dow chairman William Stavropoulos stated that Union Carbide a wholly
owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical
does not face criminal charges in the Bhopal court. However, as
recently as April 9, 2003, the
Central Bureau of Investigation had indicated to the court that it will
submit a report on including
Dow as an accused in addition to Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in the
ongoing criminal case. In 1986,
UCC, its former chairman Warren Anderson and ten others were charged with
manslaughter among other
crimes. Neither Anderson nor UCC have appeared in court to face trial.
In merging with
UCC, Dow has acquired a fugitive from justice. By failing to subject itself
Indian legal system, Dow is trying to evade its responsibilities and has
exposed its callous disregard
for the law of the land, said Satinath Sarangi of ICJB. Sarangi,
along with Bee and her colleague
Champa Devi, began an indefinite fast from New Yorks financial district
on May 1.
Having handed over
the hunger strike to supporters around the world, the Bhopal delegation
around the United States raising awareness about Dows crimes in
Bhopal and build resistance against
the company. More than 200 people from 19 countries have already joined
the global fast.
Campaign for Justice in Bhopal is a global coalition led by the survivors
of the 1984
Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal. Billed as the worlds worst industrial
disaster, the Union Carbide
gas leak killed 8000 within three days of the disaster and exposed more
than 500,000. ICJB calls upon
Dow, the new owners of Union Carbide, to face longstanding criminal charges
against Carbide in India,
release toxicological information regarding the poison gases, arrange
for long-term medical
rehabilitation and monitoring, provide economic rehabilitation and social
support for survivors
children, and clean up the toxic wastes and contaminated groundwater in
and around Carbide's old
factory site. The demand to the Government of India is to ensure that
Dow is held accountable.
For more information,
Contact: Nityanand Jayaraman. Cell: 520 906 5216.
Krishnaveni G. Cell: 832.444.1731. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org