International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
Dear Mr. Stavropoulos:
We are writing to you, as the head of the Dow Chemical Company, to again demand that your company take full responsibility for the liabilities of the Bhopal, India, gas disaster that Dow assumed when it bought Union Carbide, the original owners of the Bhopal plant, in February of 2001.
Since the merger, we, as a coalition of groups, have attempted on many occasions to engage Dow proactively in dealing with the toxic legacy still ongoing in Bhopal. We have explained to you that the 1984 gas disaster, forever changing the chemical industry, is far from over. Bhopal children are born with high rates of illness and physical abnormalities, and women are forced to breastfeed lead- and mercury-laden milk as a result of long-term consumption of contaminated drinking water.
Our supporters worldwide have sent you hundreds of thousands of communications telling Dow that its neglect of these issues is not the behavior of a truly responsible company, and that you must take responsibility for these liabilities now.
We have repeated to you our demands and you have refused to listen, instead attempting to stymie our ability to peacefully assemble, as you did by filing two civil lawsuits against Bhopal survivors in December 2002 and 2001, for non-violent demonstrations near your Mumbai, India, office.
Since you have not acknowledged the role you play in resolving the ongoing Bhopal liabilities, we have begun to symbolically return pieces of your toxic legacy to you. First in India, then in the Netherlands and Switzerland, we have returned Bhopal waste to Dow headquarters. Today we have continued these global activities by returning toxic Bhopal water to your Dow Center office park in Houston, Texas.
Furthermore, we have currently blockaded the perimeter of the Houston Dow Center in a non-violent protest of Dow’s lack of action in regard to these matters. Our demands remain that Dow accept its pending legal liabilities in Bhopal, clean up the abandoned factory site, provide people with clean drinking water, provide full economic compensation and long-term medical care that includes the release of the original composition of the toxic Bhopal gas. However, we will end our non-violent direct action if:
Dow agrees to meet with representatives from Bhopal survivor organizations before the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on May 8, 2003, in Midland, Michigan. Dow would constructively discuss the needs of the Bhopal survivors; Dow must also agree to provide the proper documentation for Bhopal representatives to gain visas and access to this discussion.
Dow agrees to drop the two civil lawsuits currently pending against Bhopal survivors and the entire International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal in India for non-violent demonstrations outside Dow’s Mumbai headquarters.
The above items need to be agreed to in writing, with a letter faxed to Rick Hind, Greenpeace’s Legislative Director, at 202-462-4507. Once Mr. Hind has received such a letter, we will end our protest. We look forward to your reply.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, India
Bhopal Group for Information & Action, India National Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, India
Greenpeace Environmental Health Fund
cc: Tommy Block, Vice President for Dow Texas Operations