BHOPAL ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN NON-VIOLENT DEMONSTRATION AGAINST DOW
Company Agrees to Meet with Toxic Gas Survivors, but Refuses to Drop Nuisance Lawsuits against Survivors
Following a four and a half hour protest at Dow Chemical’s Texas headquarters, 12 activists representing the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal were arrested by Houston Police. Activists were locked to concrete-filled barrels, effectively blocking the entrances to the Houston Dow Center on Sam Houston Parkway South. In addition, barrels of contaminated drinking water from Bhopal were delivered to Dow. Emergency technicians jack-hammered through the concrete barrels in order for police to make arrests.
Protesters were demanding that Dow agree to meet with Bhopal survivors and to drop two lawsuits it has filed against survivors who held non-violent demonstrations outside Dow’s Mumbai (Bombay), India office. John Musser at Dow’s corporate headquarters in Michigan told a Greenpeace campaigner that Dow would meet with survivors at or before the company’s annual general meeting in May. Musser made it clear however, that the Dow would not discuss liability issues or other substantive matters. Furthermore, Musser made it clear that the lawsuits against the survivors would not be dropped in India.
The Texas Environmental Crimes Unit arrived on the scene to test the drinking water that Dow has contaminated, expressing concern and threatening to take further legal action against the protestors.
“It is ironic that Texas is looking to charge peaceful protestors, who are seeking justice for the people of Bhopal, with environmental crimes. The real crime was committed 18 years ago against the people of Bhopal and continues today,” said Casey Harrell of Greenpeace.
Nancy Hwa, (202) 413-8521 (cell)
Web site – www.greenpeaceusa.org/bhopal