The LowDOWn – December 16, 2009

The Bhopal LowDOWn – for December 16, 2009

Newsletter Contents:

  1. 25th Anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster
  2. Bloomington, Indiana passes City Council Resolution
  3. Support activists’ peaceful padyatra in Chattisgarh
  4. Dow Under Scrutiny this week

25th Anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster

On December 3, 2009, the International Day of Action for the 25th Anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Disaster was a huge success. Bhopal survivors and their supporters around the world helped make the story of 25 years of courage and strength in the face of corporate crime the focus of international headlines. The Bhopalis calls for justice were truly heard around the world.

Some Highlights and links
The ICJB anniversary Press Release from Bhopal
The ICJB anniversary Press Release from the U.S.
Highlights of the major media attention
Some action reports (not all of them have been put online yet)

It was because of support from people like you that this massive mobilization was possible. Now, it’s up to all of us to make sure that this is not just a passing moment in history. We need to make sure that Dow and the Indian government live up to the Survivors’ demands. Donate to the International Campaign for Justice to help us continue this important work.

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Bloomington, Indiana passes City Council Resolution

On December 2, 2009, Bloomington, Indiana City Council Members voted unanimously to pass a resolution supporting the Bhopal Survivors. The resolution, titled “Recognizing the Twenty-Fifth Anniverasary of the Bhopal Disaster and Calling for a Report on the Extremely Hazardous Substances Previously Released into the Local Environment,” was led by Council Member Stephen Volan. The resolution declared December 3 as Bhopal Day in Bloomington, and mandates that by Bhopal Day 2010, the city’s Environmental Commission “compile and present an inventory of those places where extremely hazardous substances have been released into and remain in the local environment.”
Read the press advisory
Download the PDF of the resolution

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Support activists’ peaceful padyatra in Chattisgarh

Please sign the petition supporting justice in Chattisgarh, India from our allies at the Association for India’s Development.
Social activists from all over India are planning a padyatra (march on foot) through the conflict zone of Southern Chhattisgarh, in an effort to bring peace and normalcy to the Adivasis communities there. The administration is trying everything in its power to stop the padyatra from happening. Solidarity groups headed for Dantewada are being stopped and harassed.
On December 10th, Kopa Kunjum an activist with Vanvasi Chetna Ashram (VCA) was arrested along with his lawyer Alban Toppo from Human Rights Law Network without being presented the reasons for arrest. Both Kopa and Alban were severely beaten while in custody. Although Alban was later released, murder charges were later slapped on Kopa. [Click here to read Alban’s own account of his experience in police custody].
Over 500 people have signed the petition demanding justice for the survivors of violence, implementation of Supreme Court’s order for rehabilitation of the displaced people and the release of Kopa Kunjum.
Please read and sign the petition to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and send a free fax, if you agree with the contents. Signing the petition will send a free fax.

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Dow Under Scrutiny this week

In the past week, two stories have surfaced putting scrutiny on Dow Chemical Company for the massive Dioxin Contamination near their hometown of Midland, Michigan. 
First, AFP reported on December 14 on the contamination in the Tittabawassee River, and Dow’s responsibility to clean it up:

“The Tittabawassee may be clean enough to freeze now, but it remains one of the most contaminated waterways in the United States and a key example of the nation’s struggle to deal with its industrial past.”
“…Yet little has been done to clean up the dioxins which spread for more than 80kmdownstream and downwind of the Midland plant. “This is a 30-year-old issue and no one has yet to have the political will to move that company,” said activist Michelle Hurd Riddick.
Read the Full article here

On December 15, the Michigan Messenger reported on a controversial and dubious report on the dangers of Dioxins that was funded by Dow Chemical Company:

“State officials say that a Dow Chemical-funded University of Michigan study on dioxin exposure in the Saginaw River watershed has spurred misperceptions about the contamination threat caused by Dow — and they say U-M’s lead researcher has not fully cooperated in efforts to address the problem.”
Read the full article about the controversy here

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Please donate to the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal

Contact: Shana Blustein Ortman
US Coordinator, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
49 Powell Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94102
shana@panna.org – email

www.studentsforbhopal.orgwww.bhopal.net

 

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