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December 3, 2013 – The 29th Anniversary of the Disaster

Today marks 29 years without Justice.

Today is the 29th Anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Disaster. As many of you know, over 500,000 people continue to be affected while 100,000 still require ongoing care for chronic health problems. Perhaps most tragic of all are the mutagenic effects of the gas exposure. Many children are born with crippling congenital malformations and developmental disabilities which rob them of their quality of life. Children born in Bhopal are 7 times more likely to be born with malformations than their counterparts throughout the rest of India. 

Kailashi Sharma, 58 years old

“My son had gotten married on May the 5th 1985, and a baby was born after nine months. He died after three days of his birth. Again after a year, one more died and again after one year, another baby died. So three children died in three years.”

Leela Bai, 68 years old

 “Because of the gas, children cannot drink their mother’s breast milk and children are being born disabled. My own eldest daughter’s daughter is so severely disabled…and now because of the gas, my youngest daughter has lost her fertility…”

Omwati Bai, 60 years old

“[My grandsons] are disabled and they even faint while they are sitting. They often fall when they try to walk. …If I am dead, who will give them water to drink? They can’t even go to the toilet by themselves…Who will take these disabled children to the toilet?”

For more personal survivor stories, see below or click here. Photo by Alex Masi. Donate Now!

Despite all odds, survivors have sustained a 29 year struggle for justice and have achieved a number of important victories (outlined in last week’s Call to Action). It is critical that the movement to demand accountability and justice remains a priority for us in North America. It is our responsibility, as conscious consumers, to work to stop governments and corporate decision-makers from prioritizing profit over human life & environmental health. The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) is at the very epicenter of the global movement for corporate accountability, and this movement needs a global precedent set, clear and explicit: The protection of human life & the environment is the ultimate imperative. When safety is sacrificed for profit, there must be justice. Bhopal must be this precedent.

The community of activists fighting for justice around the world is strong and, with your help, will continue to grow! The coming year is pivotal for our cause, as the 30th Anniversary is approaching and we have many events and solidarity actions planned. Through donating to ICJB you are supporting the survivors’ groups on the ground in India, as they fight for justice. But you are also supporting ICJB‘s mission to educate the world about Bhopal and bring into focus the global frequency of industrial disasters resulting from corporate corruption.

We all live in Bhopal.

Read our mission statement here. For more information please email: icjb.us.ab@gmail.com.

Donate Now!

                                 More from the Survivors…

Many who lost their families lack a sufficient support network to deal with the socio-economic and emotional traumas of the fallout from the tragedy. Sanjay Verma, 29 years old, lost seven members of his immediate family (his parents, three sisters and two brothers) in a matter of 24 hours, leaving only him and his elder brother and sister. Sanjay later lost his brother, Sunil Verma, to suicide. Sunil suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Mental health issues are common amongst the gas affected population. 

Moreover, unsafe dumping practices by UCC have led to soil/groundwater contamination in 22 communities, and chronic symptoms of poisoning within members of the community. Every day practises of eating, drinking, and bathing become unsafe and exacerbate the illnesses which already plague survivors. 

Nasreen Bi, mid 30s

“We have been drinking poisoned water, and that has been causing several diseases. Children are not growing, there are many diseases, and sickness has been found amongst the women.”

For survivors, their chronic health issues have robbed them of the ability to work, forcing them deeper into poverty. Rashida Bi describes her family’s economic decline:

Rashida Bi, 54 years old

“After the Gas tragedy, my father got sick. My husband used to do sewing work. He then started having pain in the bones of his legs, so it became difficult for him to stitch…I used to roll [cigarettes in the house]…After considering the financial, and other problems at home, I said to [my family] that I am also going. I will look for some kind of job”

Hazira Bi, mid 50s

“We should be given the right to live. We are fighting for the coming generations, so that they do not suffer like this because of the corporations and the government. Union Carbide and Anderson should be punished for what has happened in Bhopal and the government should give us justice.”

                      “We have a right to live before we die.”


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ANI News: “Bhopal Gas tragedy victims still await justice even after three decades”

Original Link: http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail2/story143484/bhopal-gas-tragedy-victims-still-await-justice-even-after-three-decades.html

Bhopal Gas tragedy victims still await justice even after three decades

Bhopal, Dec.2 (ANI): Leaders of five organisations representing survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy have called on the United States Government to acknowledge and express regret for financing, through its EXIM Bank, the construction of the hazardously designed Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, that caused the 1984 tragedy.

Continue reading ANI News: “Bhopal Gas tragedy victims still await justice even after three decades”

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Action & Event Ideas

We have a lot of resources available for activists to take action in solidarity with the Bhopal Survivors. Please look over the list below and contact us for questions or scheduling information.

Here is a list of exciting action ideas to get your action juices flowing!  Remember to be creative and have fun!

  1. TAKE ACTION ON DECEMBER 3rd, 2013– This December 3rd marks the 29th anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster.  People all over the world will be taking action at to commemorate the tragedy and to remind Dow and the government that we are still fighting for justice.  It would be great if you could organize an action on your campus to spread awareness within your student body and community.
  2. DUMP YOUR DOW – this is a campaign that we’ve launched for the anniversary.  The idea is designed affect Dow where they can’t ignore – their pockets.  We want people to Dump their Dow meaning:
    1. Stop using/buying things that have Dow products
    2. Sell any Dow stock that you hold, and the profit from the sale could go to the campaign and/or clinic
    3. Tell us your Dump Your Dow story!  The more stories we have about people dumping Dow, the better we’ll be able to show Dow how their legacy in Bhopal is affecting their business.
  3. RALLIES  – The purpose of a rally is to show your level of support to your target, to invigorate your supporters and to attract media attention to bring new people into the campaign.  Rallies can include chanting, signs, banners, music, marching, street theater, impassioned speeches, humor, presenting petitions and anything else you like.
  4. HOST A FILM OR VIDEO SCREENING  – A dozen short documentaries and at least one full-length feature film about the Bhopal disaster are available.  Show them on your campus, and follow up the screening with a discussion about what people can do.  Then get involved!  Email shana@panna.org if you would like us to mail you a copy.
  5. HOST THE BHOPHAL PHOTO EXHIBIT  – There are a number of beautiful photo exhibits available to you at the cost of shipping them.  Please email shana@panna.org if you’d like to host an exhibit.
  6. PASS A STUDENT GOVERNMENT OR CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION  – Draft a resolution calling on your school to divest, reject Dow’s funding, or expel Dow recruiters. Present the resolution to your student government or city council with a supporting petition from the student body, faculty, and alumni.
  7. TARGETING DOW BOARD MEMBERS – If you live in Michigan, Illinois, New York, D.C., North Carolina, or California, you may have a Dow Board member as you neighbor. You can help remind the Dow Board about their responsibilities and liabilities in Bhopal. Dow’s Board members are among the wealthiest and most powerful Americans, they are able to shield themselves in their country clubs and offices from any news about Bhopal that might remind them of the people dying there. They should be held personally accountable for their actions – they should not be allowed to hide behind the company name. Check out these ideas for how to target the Board, and use the action-planning checklist to plan your action.
    1. Know Thy Neighbor: Organize a group of supporters to canvass the Board member’s neighborhood. Talk with residents about Bhopal, and answer their questions about Dow’s responsibility for ongoing chemical terror. Ask them to sign a postcard to their neighbor regarding the problem (print out postcards or ask us to mail you some).
    2. Make a Delivery: Present Board members with signed postcards, a “sample” of Bhopal water, or the photo of a Bhopal victim. Hold a candlelight vigil or a protest outside their house if they refuse to meet with you, and invite the media.
    3. Present Dow with an “Award”: Give Dow Board members an “award” for their infamous legacy in Bhopal. The award can be as fancy as a plaque or as easy as a certificate made from construction paper. Location of Board Members
  8. CHALKINGS  – Get a couple buckets of sidewalk chalk and decorate campus.  Chalking is cheap, fun, creative, and effective.  Some schools don’t like it, but it’s pretty harmless, and if you do it late at night, you’ll avoid scrutiny.  You can use it to educate, advertise, or put pressure on your school administration or on Dow.
  9. HAND OUT “BHOPAL WATER”  – Concoct a nasty brew of foul-tasting ingredients and hand it out to students on a silver platter.  Dress up as a waiter and approach people on your college green or in your school’s cafeterias.  Invite them to try the Bhopal water but insist that they sign a liability waiver in case of injury or death.  Educate yourself beforehand about the toxins found in actual Bhopal water. A creative twist: befoul (but do no damage to) a public fountain. Dress up as Dow executives and angrily assert that the water is clean, and fine for drinking. Refuse to drink the water yourselves but insist that others do so.
  10. PUT DOW ON TRIAL  – This is a creative and engaging way of educating the campus community about the Bhopal disaster.  It involves a presentation of evidence, a prosecution and a defense, and an impartial jury, which can convict Dow on the basis of the evidence presented.  You can invite law students, the mock trial group, or Dow representatives to participate, and notify the media – and Dow – of the outcome. The whole process is interactive theater from start to finish, and it lends itself to media coverage: “X University Students Indict $40 Billion Company for Corporate Manslaughter.”  You can even give interviews “in character” as the prosecutor or as a juror.
  11. FASTS OR HUNGER-STRIKES – Public fasts and hunger strikes can be a powerful way of demonstrating your commitment, generating media coverage, and winning supporters to your side.  Consider a day-long collective hunger strike, a rotating hunger strike, or an indefinite hunger strike (although most people can go without food for several days, consult your doctor).  If you’re planning an indefinite hunger strike, make sure that some of your leaders don’t join in – they’ll need their energy to organize support behind your struggle.
  12. BANNER DROPS  – Hang a banner from a high spot.  Big Banner.  Good photo-op.

Make sure to check out the Action Section of the 25th Anniversary Day of Action Toolkit for more action ideas and resources!


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