By Dawn Witlin
Sunday, May 7, 2006
Hoping to remind a new generation of an industrial horror from two decades ago, activists lay down in Boston yesterday for a “die-in” honoring victims of the 1984 Union Carbide chemical disaster that killed 22,000 people in Bhopal, India.
Covered in white shrouds, five Boston Coalition for Bhopal members stretched out silently on the grounds of Copley Square for one hour in memory of those killed when a cloud of toxic poison spewed from a factory owned by the Union Carbide Corp.
“This has now crossed the generation line,” said Somnath Mukherji of the Association for India’s Development and a native of India. “People are still dying from prolonged exposure.” Supporters say Dow Chemical Co., which merged with Union Carbide in 2001, should be responsible for removing toxic waste still harbored at an abandoned factory site contaminating Bhopal’s water supply.
“We are hoping to raise awareness enough so that Dow takes responsibility for its liabilities in Bhopal,” said organizer Aquene Freechild. “A lot of people aren’t aware that this is still going on; they think it’s been taken care of.”
At Dow’s shareholders meeting in Midland, Michigan, Thursday, the concerns will be addressed in a resolution for Bhopal, they said.