Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Remembering Bhopal

On December 3, 1984, a Union Carbide pesticide plant released 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas that killed up to 5000 people in a matter of just hours.

Today marks the 23rd anniversary of what is considered to be the worst industrial disaster ever.

It is said that about 20 000 people have died in the years since 1984. Authorities say that the disaster still claims at least one life every day.

In addition, birth defects and other serious medical complications still affect 120 000 people living in and around Bhopal.

Union Carbide denied that the disaster was their fault. Instead they have consistently said the disaster was the work of sabotage.

The Dow Chemical Company bought Union Carbide in 2001 but has they claim that they have met all financial obligations related to the Bhopal disaster.

This Al-Jazeera report interviews survivors about the disaster and assesses the aftermath. It is a shocking report that finds Dow Chemical seeking to 'bribe' its way back into business in India.

And what is especially disturbing is that the Indian government seems to be allowing Dow to get around its repsonsibility in the interests of attracting foreign direct investment.

See the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal for more information.

Lest we forget, I recommend this two part series as more than just a form of remembering:

"It Happened in Bhopal" - 27 Aug 07 - Part 1

"It Happened in Bhopal" - 27 Aug 07 - Part 2

Sign the Petition for Justice in Bhopal here.



Dione said...

I will gladly sign this petition!
It's wrong to be so inhumane, and its even more dirty to see such cover-ups and disreguard by people in power.
I feel bad for these people, they do not deserve this! The history involved can make us more than concerned, that it is time for action.


Anonymous said...

One of my fantasies is to bring Warren Anderson to justice. May the man rot in hell along with so many other corporate CEO's.

Ridwan said...

Thanks for your comment Dione. Your voice on the petition is important.

Anonymous thanks for your comment. I suspect there are literally thousands upon thousands of people who would join you to bring Warren Anderson to book.

Peace and struggle,

Shus li said...

Thank you for this grim reminder, Ridwan. It seems like not 23 years ago.

Three years ago I sat with others in remembrance of this day. There were some young Indian people there who had no recollection of this horror - because they hadn't been born yet. And some people were presenting bottles of water from Bhopal to a Dow Chemical official, inviting him to drink it.

May all destructive governments and corporations be dealt a death blow soon.

Ridwan said...

Shush li it certainly does not seem like 23 years have passed even from afar.

Thank you for telling us about that memorial protest. I bet the Dow man wanted a Coke or Pepsi instead.

I am shocked that the Indian government is trying to brush all this aside and get Dow to invest.

When will these neo-liberal jockeys live up to the will of the people?

Peace to you sista.


Dione said...

Thats a great story about presenting the Dow official with some of that water from Bhopol. No doubt they did not drink it.
Its really sad the way the powerful treat innocent people, and it is time they own up to their actions, to admit and repay.