What you can do to help us, by Tara, Rashida and Sathyu
Simplest and quickest actions are listed first.
WHATEVER YOU DO, Please inform us by emailing email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Join our mass fax action (You can do this right now)
Join the fax action directed towards the Indian Government at http://www.corpwatchindia.org/action/PAA.jsp?articleid=1843
Make a telephone call (or three if you afford to)
2a. Call the Ministry of Home Affairs (India Tel: +91 11 378.23.97). Ask to speak to the Minister and demand that the Ministry should direct the Central Bureau of Investigation to withdraw its application that the charges against Warren Anderson be diluted from homicide to negligence. Demand that Warren Anderson and Union Carbide representatives be extradited and made to face trial in India for their crimes against the people of Bhopal.
2b. Call the Ministry of Chemicals (India Tel: +91 11 3381573). Ask to speak to the Minister and demand that the Ministry should rescind its decision to distribute the survivors' compensation money to the 20 non-gas-affected wards, and instead move towards rapid and just compensation of survivors in the 36 gas-affected wards of Bhopal.
2c. Call the Indian embassy in your city to echo the demands of the survivors. Find it in this list: http://www.thokalath.com/embassy/index.php
If you live in the US, find the Indian embassy or your nearest consulate, from this list:
Demand that the Government of India:
i) REVERSE ITS APPLICATION TO DILUTE the outstanding criminal charges against Warren Anderson and Union Carbide, from which they have been absconding for 11 years. And PRESS FOR THE EXTRADITION of Warren Anderson and Carbide executives from the USA, invoking the existing treaty.
ii) COMPEL DOW CHEMICALS to assume Union Carbide's liabilities in Bhopal as they have done in the USA
iii) RESCIND ITS ORDER to distribute the compensation money, that rightfully belongs to the survivors, among 20 non-gas-affected wards. Instead, the Government should arrange to distribute the money to the victims of the disaster, 94 percent of whom have till date received a meagre Rs. 25,000 ($500) for lifelong health impacts and lost livelihoods. (This demand has now been met. But the Minister is now talking of using the survivors' money to clean up the polluted factory site. This would be a reversal of the widely accepted policy of POLLUTER PAYS and would amount to VICTIM PAYS. It must be stopped. Dow must be held liable.)
3. Email letters to the editors of Indian newspapers
Send letters to:
email@example.com (Hindustan Times)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Times of India)
email@example.com (The Hindu)
http://www.expressindia.com/about/feedback.html (Indian Express)
Please make the following points:
a) The Government of India is complicit in the crimes against the people of Bhopal by shielding the accused - Union Carbide and its new owner Dow Chemicals - from the pending criminal liabilities in the Indian courts. This is a travesty of justice and a sell-out of the interests of the victims of the world's worst industrial disaster.
b) Warren Anderson and Dow Chemicals, Union Carbide's new owner, must face trial in India for their complicity in the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster which has claimed more than 20,000 lives and left 150,000 with serious health effects.
c) The Central Bureau of Investigation should withdraw its application to dilute charges against Warren Anderson from homicide to negligence and instead move to quickly extradite Anderson;
d) The Ministry of Chemicals should rescind its order to distribute the compensation money, that rightfully belongs to the survivors, among 20 non-gas-affected wards. Instead, the Government should arrange to distribute the money to the victims of the disaster, 94 percent of whom have till date received a meagre Rs. 25,000 ($500) for lifelong health impacts and lost livelihoods. (SEE 2iii ABOVE)
4. Email letters to the Indian Prime Minister and the Home Affairs Minister
Email the Indian Prime Minister and Home Minister directly, making the points listed in action 3) above.
Indian Prime Minister: http://pmindia.nic.in/writetous.htm
Home Affairs Minister: firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: emails are more likely to be lost in cyberspace or deleted than faxes.
Fax a letter to your local Indian Ambassador or High Commissioner
Please make the points suggested in action 3) above. Find the fax number in this list: http://www.thokalath.com/embassy/index.php
If you live in the US, use this list:
6. Organise a9am to 5pm hunger strike at a prominent location in your city or at the Indian embassy in your city if there is one. Issue a press statement incorporating the key demands of the Bhopal survivors. You can download the demands direct from the Take Action section of http://www.corpwatchindia.org. Or make the points in action 3) above. If you are going to fast, please drink plenty of water and do not fast if there is any risk to your health.
7. Organise a simple demo outside the Indian embassy with banners that say "Justice for Bhopal. Extradite Warren Anderson. Distribute compensation money to survivors." Hand over a petition with demands to the Ambassador.
8. Organise candle-light vigils or other peaceful gatherings. Invite your local press to attend, speak about the hunger-strike in Delhi and the strikers' demands.
Gandhiji said: "Non-violence is a more active and real fight against wickedness than retaliation whose very nature is to increase wickedness . . . Enter with me into the sufferings, not only of the people of India but of the whole world . . . Non-violence is not a weapon of the weak. It is a weapon of the strongest and bravest."
Rashida Bi, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Tara Bai, Gas Peedit Nirashrit Morcha, Bhopal
Satinath Sarangi, Bhopal Group for Information and Action
For more information, contact:
The National Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
B14, Second Floor, Gulmohar Park, New Delhi 110 049.
Tel: +91-11-656.17.43 / +91-11-651.48.47
email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org