The LowDOWn – July 2013

The Bhopal LowDOWn – July  2013           

 Brought to you by the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America


In this issue:

1. EXTRADITE WARREN ANDERSON PETITION

2. A Sad Day for Bhopalis and The World

3. DOW Shareholder Meeting Update and Moving Forward

4. Annual Conference

5. Take Action!


1. EXTRADITE WARREN ANDERSON!

Please sign (and share!) this petition to extradite Warren Anderson (former CEO of the Union Carbide Corporation) for his role in the Bhopal Gas Disaster and aftermath. If we reach 100,000 signatures, the Obama administration must respond to the petition. For more information on the corporate crimes of Warren Anderson, please visit: http://studentsforbhopal.org/WarrenAndersonPetition. 

2. A Sad Day for Bhopalis and The World

After a 9 year Battle, the US Federal Court this month dismissed an appeal to hold Union Carbide liable for the pollution of soil and groundwater by hazardous waste generated by the abandoned factory.  Survivors Groups are discouraged, but not defeated.  Please read the following Press Statement:

Photo by Alex Massi

 

June 29 2013. Five Bhopal based organizations active on the issue of ongoing toxic contamination in and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal today condemned the recent decision of the US Federal court that dismissed an appeal filed by a group of plaintiffs last year.

The organizations said that the decision of the Appellate court was a gross miscarriage of justice as it deliberately ignored the documentary evidence presented in court in the last nine years. The organizations said that they would now persuade the Indian government, owner of the contaminated lands, to intervene in the case pending before the US court.

Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that internal corporate documents presented before the three Appellate court “unambiguously demonstrates that Union Carbide Corporation, USA, and not its Indian subsidiary, had designed the waste disposal system in the Bhopal plant as well as supervised its operation and monitored the harmful consequences of the hazardous design.” She alleged that the judges turned a blind eye to the facts on record simply in order to avoid making American corporations accountable for crimes committed outside the U.S. Read More.

Louise Christian, world renowned British human rights lawyer expressing solidarity with the survivors, said “This decision to deny justice to poor and vulnerable people caused irreparable harm by big business should shame the world. The United States Appeal Court has ignored compelling evidence about the central role played by the Union Carbon Corporation based in the US in equipping overseeing and enabling the Indian offshoot of the company to produce UCC’s own product, the insecticide Sevin. UCC failed to give advice which would have ensured not only that the leak of gas itself did not happen but also prevented the contamination which has poisoned the drinking water in a large area around where the plant was.

Those who run multinational corporations should not be allowed to escape liability for grievous harm by creating complex corporate structures and hiding behind them. The paltry compensation paid in India to the victims and the failure to prosecute anyone over Bhopal is a disgrace. The history should be reviewed by the United Nations with a view to introducing international law mechanisms for securing justice in this and other cases”. Read More.

Contact Rachna Dhingra for more details

3. DOW Shareholder Meeting and Moving Forward

This past May, ICJB-NA Advisory Board Member Caitlyn Schuchhardt and a group of students and alumni from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, geared up to protest outside of Dow Chemical’s annual shareholder meeting in Midland, Michigan. Students Shanna Krogh, Taylor Huwe, Katie Miller, and alumna Megan John joined Caitlyn on a 16-hour road trip to Midland, intent on urging Dow Chemical to accept responsibilities for the ongoing industrial disaster in Bhopal.

In addition to our presence outside of the meeting, we were able to pose two questions during the unaired Q&A period at the end of the shareholder meeting.  We posed these questions from the perspective of a Dow shareholder. Our questions, and the responses by Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical’s current CEO, can be found here.

The Good: Midland residents came to shake our hands and thank us for being present. Some of them were familiar with Dow’s toxic legacy, leading back to Dow’s involvement in Vietnam with Agent Orange, and also the local contamination Dow has caused in Midland.  We received several “thumbs up” and waves from shareholders.  One shareholder who had a stockholder proposal on the meeting’s agenda included a shout-out to our group and the Bhopal disaster during his speech (which was seen on the livestream).  Residents and even the local security officers stopped to talk with us and learn more about our concerns.  We had great conversations with two shareholders who are also concerned about how Dow has been handling the Bhopal issue.

The Bad: We received some “thumbs down” and were told to go home. (As you can see, the good clearly outweighs the bad here!)

Check out the articles written up about the protest:

“Dow Chemical’s annual stockholders meeting prompts Bhopal gas leak protest in Midland”
(Saginaw Daily News, Jessica Haynes)

“Bhopal protesters get same answers, different results at Dow Chemical shareholders meeting”
(Saginaw Daily News, Jessica Haynes)

“Bhopal protesters seek resolution”

(Midland Daily News, Tony Lascari)

“Protesters Target Dow Chemical’s AGM in Michigan, USA”
(Bhopal Medical Appeal)

Looking Ahead:

If you want to know more, please email us! We are already planning our action for next year,  which will be in May of 2014. This will be the year leading up to the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster and we are looking to expand this action significantly. We have lots of ideas and are going to start planning early. We would love to have you on board, so please contact us if you have idea for actions or would like to join with us in bringing awareness to Dow’s toxic legacy.

We could not be more proud of how this action went!  If we were able to create this much of a buzz with only five people, imagine what next year could look like!

 

4. Annual Conference

We need your help to decide the location and date of our annual North American conference! Please take the following survey!

5. Take Action!!

  • Visit our Facebook Group Here and our Page Here!

  • Follow us on twitter Here!

This campaign LowDOWn is brought to you by members of the ICJB-NA Advisory Board.

 

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