The LowDOWn – June 2010

The Bhopal LowDOWn – for June 26, 2010

1. TAKE ACTION NOW!

The world’s worst industrial disaster has been reduced to the equivalent of a road accident. On June 7, seven persons, who knowingly approved cost-cutting measures compromising the safety and disaster mitigation in the plant, who knowingly approved an inferior technology that resulted in this disaster, have been let off on bail. Meanwhile, the real perpetrators (Warren Anderson & Union Carbide) are getting away scot-free.

People around the world are angry. Angry at the Indian Government for betraying its people; angry that the world’s largest democracy has succumbed to the power of a corporation. TAKE ACTION: Send a Fax to the Prime Minister.

Already sent a fax and want to do more? Find out other actions you can take here.

2. UPDATE ON INJUSTICES: From verdict to new gov’t plan

You have probably already heard about the June 7 verdict of Union Carbide India Limited and 7 company officials. You may have read about the verdict and the public uproar in the news. You may have also learned what the Bhopalis wanted the Prime Minister to do to bring real justice.

Here’s the most recent news of betrayal by Indian Government:
On Thursday, June 24, 2010, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal by the Group of Ministers on Bhopal. Here are the ways in which this plan betrays Bhopalis:

  • The government announced new compensation for victims, which will reach less than 10% of the victims. Seven billion Rupees (US$150mil) will be given out among 46,000 people, which leaves 525,000 victims with nothing.  
  • The government has approved a clean-up of the toxic waste to non-existent Indian standards by shoddy scientific organizations like NEERI. Bhopalis fear that a hasty clean-up will put another community, where the waste will be taken, in danger. 
  • The cabinet decided that Dow’s liability will be left to the court to decide. The Indian Government has allowed Dow to continue operating in India with no consequence.
  • While the proposal does include a new extradition request for Warren Anderson, Union Carbide will not be pursued by the Government, even though it too has been charged with culpable homicide.

Read a full summary of the cabinet’s plan here.

3. NEWS COVERAGE

Over the last 3 weeks, Bhopal has been the top news story in India and has received media attention worldwide.
Here are some of the top recent stories:

NYTimes: In India, BP Response Feeds Outrage Over Bhopal
Wall Street Jounal: Indian Panel Revisits Bhopal Issues
NDTV: Bhopal survivors ignored by the state

Read more news coverage here.

4. ACTIONS AROUND THE WORLD

People all over the world have responded with outrage in the last few weeks to the 26-year denial of justice in Bhopal.

INDIA
No More Bhopals: An evening of Protest, Songs, Poetry in Delhi
On Saturday a demonstration was held in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest against the recent shameful Court Verdict on the Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984.
Mammoth protest against Bhopal verdict
On June 22, 2010, hundreds of activists of KRRS, DSS and other progressive organizations gathered at K.R. Circle in Mysore to protest the recent verdict on the Bhopal gas tragedy.

USA
Actions began last week in New York City and Washington D.C. Activists in NYC attempted to deliver a summons to Union Carbide and Warren Anderson’s lawyers on the same day that activists protested in front of the Indian Embassy in D.C.

On Wednesday, June 9, 2010, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) released statements showing his outrage on the court’s sentence of two years for those responsible for the world’s worst chemical disaster.

Protest against injustice in Bhopal continued this week in New York City, Boston and San Francisco. Consulates were visited in New York City and San Francisco. Supporters at both consulates held colorful signs and chanted slogans. In Boston on Thursday a coalition of supporters met to peacefully yet firmly protest against the court decision and rally public support for the survivors of Bhopal tragedy.

5. NEW INTERNS AT ICJB

Kirk Robinson is one of the newest interns to join the ICJB team. He has just finished his second year at UC Berkeley where he is pursuing a major in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. Issues that extend across borders are a great interest of his which is why he is excited to work with Students for Bhopal! This summer he will be helping with the database cleanup, contacting donors, and working with the website and other social networking sites. He also enjoys biking, eating, and playing the trombone!

Samantha Balasubramanian is very passionate about human rights issues and excited to be interning with ICJB this summer. She graduated from UC Irvine in 2008 with a BA in International Studies. She has worked at a law firm specializing in bankruptcy law for the last year and a half. She is also involved with the Project Vietnam Foundation and will be traveling to Vietnam this summer on a medical mission to help set up medical/dental clinics in rural areas and rehabilitate orphanages.

6. DONATE TO ICJB

Justice will be done in Bhopal only if the individuals and corporations responsible are punished in an exemplary manner. Union Carbide’s disaster was foreseeable and foreseen and still allowed to happen. The punishment of the corporations and their individual officials must be sufficient to deter other corporations and corporate officials from also acting with such reckless indifference to human life and health. -Rashida Bee, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.

We need your help to bring real justice to the people who have suffered and fought in Bhopal for over 25 years. Please donate to the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal and support our efforts to bring the accused to face trial.

 

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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