tagged w/ Bhopal
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has dismissed a petition filed by Dow Chemical challenging the trial court order of 2005 issuing show cause notice to it in the 1984 Bhopal gas leak case.
The Dow Chemical International Private Limited's petition was dismissed by the High Court bench of Justice G S Solanki on October 19.
A local court in Bhopal had issued a show cause notice to Dow Chemical in response to a petition moved by NGOs fighting for the rights of the gas victims in January 2005.
The NGOs prayed that Dow Chemical, which had taken over Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in 2001, should be issued summons for appearing in Bhopal court, as by acquiring the company it has also taken over all its assets and liabilities, specially with regard to Bhopal gas tragedy.
However, Dow Chemical had appealed against the lower court order in the High Court which granted stay on it in March 2005.
But on Friday, the bench dismissed the company's petition, thus paving the way for legal course to take place against it on the issue of fulfilling its liabilities in the case.
Welcoming the decision, NGO Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA) said the decision to lift the stay against summoning Dow Chemical in the case is a big step towards making Union Carbide face trial in India.
Thousands of people were killed and lakhs maimed following leak of a poisonous gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal on the intervening nights of December 2-3 in 1984.The Madhya Pradesh High Court has dismissed a petition filed by Dow Chemical... more
Dozens of disabled kids affected by the 1984 Bhopal disaster, one of the world’s worst-ever industrial catastrophes, have held their own Games to protest against the London Olympics sponsorship by Dow Chemical.
The children, aged five to 16 and cheered by their nearest and dearest, have participated in 10 sports in Bhopal during the “Special Olympics". The move was aimed to attract attention to the responsibilities of the company, which has a contract with the IOC until 2020 and, in particular, is a sponsor of London Olympics.
Dow Chemical has repeatedly denied any involvement in the tragedy and refuses to add to the $470-million compensation paid out in 1989.
The Bhopal "Olympics" kicked off with children suffering from cerebral palsy, partial paralysis and mental disabilities parading in wheelchairs and walking with the assistance of others around an outdoor stadium in the shadow of the old pesticide plant.
One of the competitions was called "the crab walk": three children who were unable to stand propelled themselves down the 25-meter racecourse with their hands.
And one little boy was running back and forth on the field even when no race was on.
"The children are born like this because of the gas," Kesar Bai, a 45-year-old mother from a slum near the old pesticide plant, told AFP. She firmly believes that the disaster and its long-standing influence caused her son Pratap's severe cerebral palsy.
"I was thinking 'If there hadn't been this tragedy, then so many would not be born like this'," she said, adding that in the area around her shack there were 10-12 ill kids.
An Indian mother of a disabled child suffering the effects of the 1984 Bhopal disaster, cries during a "Special Olympics" in Bhopal on July 26, 2012 (AFP Photo / Prakash Singh)
Jamila Bi brought her wheelchair-bound 11-year-old grandson Amaan to take part.
"Today these children are participating, in spite of what Union Carbide did to them," Bi told AP. "We are happy that they will walk. Those people will see that in spite of what they did these children are still participating."
Some 25,000 residents of Bhopal died in the aftermath of a massive 1984 gas leak in a pesticide factory owned by the American company Union Carbide.
Immediately after tonnes of toxic gas leaked, survivors remember the slums surrounding the pesticide plant being packed with people, many unconscious, vomiting or frothing at the mouth.
"We woke up at 2am in the night. Everyone was running. If you fell down, they ran over you," Bai remembers.
In 2001, Union Carbide liable for the disaster was purchased by Dow Chemical.
The latter, however, has done little to improve the situation in the disaster-stricken zone.
According to activists’ estimates, 500,000 people are still suffering from illnesses developed after the tragedy, including cancer, blindness and various birth defects.
"We have been protesting against Dow's sponsorship [of the Olympic Games] for a year now; we want them to be dropped," organizers' spokeswoman Rachna Dhingra told Reuters. "But we have realized this is not going to happen."
More at the linkDozens of disabled kids affected by the 1984 Bhopal disaster, one of the world’s... more
On 27th June, international campaigners for justice in Bhopal are uniting around the world to take action against Dow Chemical. With one month to go to the London Olympics, demonstrators are marking this day by calling for Dow to be dropped as an Olympic sponsor. Actions will be taking place in India, the UK, the US and Canada.
"We are calling for the Olympic sponsorship deal with Dow to be dropped because Dow is the company now responsible for the consequences of the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984.The disaster killed over 20,000 and caused injury and illness to thousands more . Dow bought Union Carbide, the company which owned the site in Bhopal when the gas leak occurred, in 2001  The site of the disaster has still not been cleaned up, which has caused contamination of the water supply for thousands of Bhopalis . Hundreds of children continue to be born every year with birth defects as a result ."
More at the link
Actions are still going on today to call for DOW to step down as an Olympic sponsor and for justice for the victims of Bhopal.On 27th June, international campaigners for justice in Bhopal are uniting around the... more
Dow Chemical is engaged in constant misinformation and misdirection on the issue of Bhopal – they are desperate to whitewash their image and refuse any responsibility for the ongoing suffering of the people of Bhopal. Here is an excerpt from a recent interview with Dow’s CEO – we will interrupt that broadcast to fill in the gaps that Andrew Liveris is trying to gloss over.
The interview text is from here: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3464938.htm
MARK COLVIN: Now before you go I have to ask you; it’s an Olympic year, the Olympics are only a few months away. The Indians are threatening to boycott because Dow is a major sponsor. What are you saying to them?
ANDREW LIVERIS: Well I mean the issue that they’re all inflamed about is not the Dow issue, it’s an Indian government issue and that’s basically what we’re saying to them.
MARK COLVIN: Why? I mean you bought Union Carbide, which caused the Bhopal disaster.
ANDREW LIVERIS: The Indian government settled with Union Carbide in 1989. Settled and reaffirmed by their Supreme Court three times. So it’s got nothing to do with Dow and that’s in the legal agreements and all the bright lines. They’re trying to drag us in because we have deep pockets and that’s clearly what they want to do.
I would also note by the way the IOC supports us fully. There are lots of other corporate brands that support the Olympics that have had issues over time and boycotts don’t tend to work; they hurt a nation, they don’t hurt the Olympics.
ANDREW LIVERIS: But do you think that the settlement with Union Carbide was fair; there are an awful lot of people still suffering aren’t there?
ANDREW LIVERIS: Well you don’t have to ask me what I think; I think you have to go to the Indian Supreme Court and ask them what they think; they ratified it three times.
MYTHBUSTING #1 – UNION CARBIDE
Union Carbide (UCC) is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical. As UCC explains, their business activities “comprise components of Dow’s global operations rather than standalone operations” (UCC’s 2010 Securities and Exchange Commission filing).
‘Successor liability’ means that when one company merges into another, it gains BOTH its assets AND its liabilities. So, in gaining UCC’s wealth, Dow also gained UCC’s responsibility for the ongoing tragedy in Bhopal.
MYTHBUSTING #2 – THE SETTLEMENT
The settlement reached in 1989 – $470m –was 15% of the original claim for $3bn. $470m is roughly equal to £600 per survivor, none of whom were consulted. This money is not even enough to pay for the ongoing treatment that many survivors need.
The Indian government has recognised the settlement deal as an “irremediable injustice” and is now challenging its legitimacy in the Supreme Court.
The case for compensation is far from closed.
MARK COLVIN: So you bought it on a purely legalistic basis, knowing that you would have nothing more to pay?
ANDREW LIVERIS: There are companies being bought and sold all over the world all the time. Legacy issues and liabilities are a rule of law; rule of law speaks to bright lines and so that’s the topic here.
MYTHBUSTING #3 – LIABILITIES
The ‘polluter pays’ is a rule of law – it is a legal principle adopted by India and the US: if a company creates pollution, they must pay for it. Any damage the pollution causes is the company’s responsibility. Cases in both Indian and US courts are trying to make the polluter – UCC – pay to clean up and decontaminate the site of the disaster, and deal with the water contamination.
When UCC merged into Dow in 2001, Dow became responsible for UCC’s ‘polluter pays’ liabilities. Dow even recognised this by accepting UCC’s asbestos-related liabilities in the US which date back to before the Bhopal gas disaster. Dow set aside $2.2 billion to resolve these claims in the US, yet they refuse to accept liability in Bhopal.
The message from Dow and LOCOG is that ‘it is now the Indian government’s responsibility to clean up the site’ in Bhopal. But the government did not pollute the site, UCC polluted the site. Moreover, if the Indian government was to clean up the site, the money would come from Indian taxpayers, some of whom live in Bhopal.
Dow is asking the victims of the gas disaster and water contamination to pay up.
The polluter should pay, not the victims.
MARK COLVIN: Do you think the Indian team will boycott?
ANDREW LIVERIS: I don’t know what the Indian team will do. I think it’ll be a tragedy for India but that’s their decision.
MARK COLVIN: Is it damaging your company?
ANDREW LIVERIS: Absolutely not.
MARK COLVIN: How come?
ANDREW LIVERIS: Our company is a company that wins awards on sustainability. We’re named one of America’s most sustainably enriched company in terms of ethics….
(see Dow’s ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ record here: www.athletesagainstdowchemical.wordpress.com)
MARK COLVIN: But in India I mean. There is clearly a depth of feeling about it.
ANDREW LIVERIS: It doesn’t hurt us in India. We have a great reputation in India. Look activist groups exist not just in India, they exist all around the world and people will have their views. It’s a free economy in India and they’ll have their views.
MYTHBUSTING #4 – DOW’S REPUTATION
There is widespread, international outrage at Dow’s involvement in the London Olympics.
Expressing that they are “dismayed” at Dow’s sponsorship of the Olympics, Indian officials refuse to endorse Dow Chemical and will boycott the opening and closing ceremonies in protest:
Meredith Alexander resigned from her position in the ethics committee for the London Olympics in protest.
Hindu groups from all over the UK met to rally their opposition to Dow’s involvement.....
More at the linkDow Chemical is engaged in constant misinformation and misdirection on the issue of... more
Indian officials will not take part in 2012 London Olympics to protest DOW Chemical sponsorship. Athletes will take part in opening and closing ceremonies. For now.Indian officials will not take part in 2012 London Olympics to protest DOW Chemical... more
You may ask, who is Sachin? Sachin is a boy who lost this legs after drinking water contaminated by the Bhopal disaster that DOW Chemical now refuses to clean up as it continues to effect the people of Bhopal today. This is a crime against humanity, but we all have a voice to raise against DOW's sponsorship. Please watch the video and take action.You may ask, who is Sachin? Sachin is a boy who lost this legs after drinking water... more
Last week, the London Olympics were wrapped in fresh embarassment and controversy as Mayor Boris Johnson’s ‘ethics Tzar’ resigned live on BBC Newsnight over fears that her ethics and sustainability concerns with regards to sponsors simply weren’t being listened to. In an interview with Jeremy Paxman she announced that her position at the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL) was no longer tenable in light of the LOCOG’s continued relationship with and defence of the Dow Chemical Company.
The moment: Meredith Alexander appears live on the BBC's Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman to announce her resignation from the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012
“By coming on air tonight, I’m taking the decision to resign my position and stand up for my principles… I feel that I was part of a body that has been used to legitimize Dow’s involvement in the games.” Dow took over Union Carbide Corporation in 2001, but neither company have addressed the ongoing issue of water and soil contamination in Bhopal that continues to kill thousands and afflict even more with chronic illnesses.
Coverage of the ongoing Bhopal tragedy, and the controversy over Dow and London 2012, went through the roof and Meredith acquired overnight celebrity status in India. Her resignation live on British television resulted in an outpouring of hope, gratitude and optimism from those still living in Union Carbide and Dow’s toxic shadow.
This week, the Bhopal Medical Appeal caught up with Ms. Alexander for a chat…
BMA: What were the main reasons for your resignation from the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL) ?
MA: All the evidence I have read has convinced me that Dow Chemicals is responsible for the deaths of more than 20,000 people in the aftermath of the Bhopal gas leak. The assets and liabilities of the company involved at the time – Union Carbide – are in Dow’s hands. Londoners, and other people, who are rightly excited about the London games, should not have this toxic legacy on their conscience.
BMA: At what point did your position became “untenable” and why?
MA: The tipping point for me, was the correspondence between Amnesty International and Lord Coe [Chair of LOCOG]. The latest response from Amnesty, just last week, pointed out how LOCOG have become apologists for Dow, falsely legitimising Dow’s stance that it bears no responsibility to the victims of the disaster and their families. I feel that the Olympic bodies are supporting Dow’s line and have failed to take the victim’s views into consideration.
BMA: Last week, Sebastian Shakespeare published a controversial column in the London Evening Standard with the bold headline “The Olympics should be no place for ethics.” Have you read it, and if so, what did you think?
MA: I have read it. And I actually submitted a letter to the editor yesterday about it. I think most Londoners share my view that ethics and sport can and must go hand in hand. Yet as things stand, the enjoyment of the Games risks being hampered by the toxic legacy of one of the sponsors: Dow Chemicals. When London bid to host the 2012 Games, we made a promise to the world that it would be most sustainable Games ever. [Read Meredith's whole letter to the ES newspaper here.]
BMA: Based on your resignation, can you further tell us why you think that ethics, morality, and sustainability are an important part of the Olympics? Why shouldn’t we just accept that commercial sponsorship is inevitable and ‘get over it.’
MA: I think it’s important to remember that there was absolutely no need for the London 2012 organisers to award anyone the contract for this wrap. It’s a completely optional item that is not essential to the design of the stadium. It will not help a single athlete run faster nor will it help spectators have a better view. Dow’s connection to the Olympics is a slap in the face to the victims of Bhopal, but the fact that this wrap is unnecessary makes this particular deal even more galling for those who have spent decades fighting for justice.
More of the interview at the linkLast week, the London Olympics were wrapped in fresh embarassment and controversy as... more
Dow and its affiliate companies, knowingly and willfully, sold products of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in India routing it through untainted companies by re-labeling them to subvert the asset attachment orders of Indian courts. TOI has accessed internal documents - emails, correspondence and memos etc - of Dow showing how the chemical giant decided to label UCC products and sell them in its name to evade taint and prosecution.
The documents show Dow continued to set the prices for UCC products in India, though it now claims UCC is a separate entity and it has no responsibility for the firm's liabilities for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. Dow sold goods worth $24 million of UCC products in 1999 through one company alone. The correspondence indicates that there was a concerted and conscious attempt to create a firewall between Dow and UCC in public domain, and rebrand UCC as Dow's.
These documents were submitted as evidence by one such front company in litigation against Dow in a US Court, which remained buried in the records so far.
Dow has never claimed ownership over UCC's liabilities in India, and insisted that the latter is a separate legal entity. The Bhopal activists have demanded that the corporate veil between the two be breached by courts and the government to prosecute the chemical giant, which has also got embroiled in the controversy over sponsoring the London Olympics, 2012.
A mail from Dow Chemical Pacific Manager in April 2001 reads, "There was a big lawsuit with UCC in India in the past. UCC considered the case is closed but India's official and companies didn't think so. Presuming the product ships directly from USA to India, my suggestion is to selling the product under Dow legal entity with Dow label and document will be a good way to proceed."
Another email from Graham Fox, Dow Chemical regional GM for Middle East &Indian subcontinent, to Ravi Muthukrishnan, country manager, Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd. (Mumbai) in January, 2001, states, "As you will be aware, UCC have not sold directly to India since Bhopal and have used Mega Visa to handle many of their sales of specialty chemicals, some bulk chemicals and wire & cable products. They work across our Dow businesses and have some several million $ sales revenue as I understand it."
A third letter indicates that this was part of a well-thought out strategy to create a firewall between Dow and UCC after their merger. A Catherine Maxey, Public Affairs director at Dow, wrote in March, 2001, "Union Carbide Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. UCC will not be issuing any more press releases, product announcements, price increases, etc. All business activities are done under the umbrella of a Dow business. We face the market as Dow. Reporters will be tempted to keep talking about Union Carbide. But we should discourage reporters from using the words Union Carbide, unless it's reference to a historical activity. There should be no need for a trade press reporter to refer to Union Carbide, as we face the market as Dow They should not call a product a "Union Carbide product." All products are sold as Dow products now. Any current or future activity of a business is done as Dow."
Another email reveals that Dow officials were making crucial decisions like price of UCC products.
An email from Arpana Mody, Dow India manager in June, 2001, reads, "We agreed on the following procedural steps for handling Mega Visa orders through Singapore: Mega Visa-Mumbai, after obtaining enquiry will refer to respective Business Managers in Dow-India for pricing. This will be for products where pricing is not standard and subject to change. After getting order from Mega Visa-Mumbai, Mega Visa-Singapore will place order on UCC-Singapore, under copy to respective Business Managers and Mr Ashish Mitra at Dow India for price approval."
Yet another email from a Dow manager says, "Since Megavisa Singapore is a dummy company who negotiates nothing and owns nothing, Dow India now would like to do the business with MegaVisa India direct." But the idea was shot down by higher ups in the legal department of the company, stating, "Country management and I are against this idea at the present time due to the threat of litigation and the protest incident of a couple of months ago."
The series of correspondence reveals the linkage between various Dow companies internationally, the use of `corporate veil' and their continued trading of UCC products in India after the courts here named it as a proclaimed offender and ordered its movable and immovable properties attached.
The Indian government in its curative petition has not asked the Supreme Court to breach the corporate veil between Dow and UCC.Dow and its affiliate companies, knowingly and willfully, sold products of Union... more
The London 2012 Olympic Games were embroiled in further controversy last night as Meredith Alexander, a Sustainability Commissioner and Ethics Adviser for the games, resigned live on the BBC’s flagship news program Newsnight. In an interview with Jeremy Paxman she announced that her position at the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL) was no longer tenable in light of the LOCOG’s continued relationship with and defence of the Dow Chemical Company.
She stated, into TV cameras; “By coming on air tonight, I’m taking the decision to resign my position and stand up for my principles… I feel that I was part of a body that has been used to legitimize Dow’s involvement in the games.” She went on to state that while Dow Chemicals have an ‘army of PR people’ she hoped that her resignation could bring some attention to the continuing plight of victims in Bhopal.
The Dow Chemical Company took over Union Carbide corporation in 2001, but neither company have addressed the ongoing issue of water and soil contamination in Bhopal that continues to kill thousands and inflict even more with chronic illnesses. Lord Coe and LOCOG have been criticised for allowing Dow Chemical’s the opportunity to sponsor the London 2012 stadium.
Dow Chemical is currently a named respondent in two court cases pertaining to the Bhopal disaster and Dow’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Union Carbide, is involved in a US court case relating to the ongoing contamination. Union Carbide is also still wanted on criminal charges in India and the Indian courts have stated that Dow is ‘harbouring fugitives from justice’.
Further into the Newsnight interview, Ms. Alexander hinted at a developing crisis within the CSL regarding the Dow issue and stated that some of her fellow commissioners were also “very concerned” but she would not comment on the prospect of further resignations.
More at the linkThe London 2012 Olympic Games were embroiled in further controversy last night as... more
There will definitely not be any Dow Chemical branding on the [stadium] wrap before, during or after the Olympic Games," announced a spokeswomen for the London 2012 organizing committee.
The October 18 development marks progress in a global campaign to shame Dow into admitting accountability to victims of the Union Carbide pesticide plant explosion in Bhopal in 1984. Dow merged with UC in 1999, yet has denied liability for the ongoing suffering of tens of thousands.
In 2010, Dow signed a 10-year deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as "Worldwide Olympic Partner." IOC rules forbid advertising on game venues, but Dow is paying for the $11 million fabric wrap encircling the stadium, and had planned to emblazon its logo on five "test panels" in preparation for the games.
As GroundTruth reported in October, victims of the Bhopal disaster, including the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, have been working with Members of Parliament in Britain to remove Dow as sponsor of games. Pulling the logo signals that public outrage and political pressure is having an impact.
Some in India's government, the Sports Ministry, and the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) have joined in the campaign. IOA acting president VK Malhotra told The Times of India that removal of Dow's logo is not enough: "Our demand is that Dow should be removed as a sponsor and we have expressed strong reservation with the Olympics. We are sending our communication to Dow as well as IOC on this regard."
More at the linkThere will definitely not be any Dow Chemical branding on the [stadium] wrap before,... more
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday came out in open against Dow Chemical's sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympics and has decided to lodge its protest to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
At its general body meeting in New Delhi, the IOA decided that it would seek the removal of Dow Chemical, which bought Union Carbide, responsible for the thousands of deaths during the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. However, the issue of boycotting the event did not even come up for discussion.
Acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the IOA will convey the sentiments of Indians to IOC chief Jacques Rogge and London Games Organising Committee chief Sebastian Coe.
"It is IOA's considered opinion that the sponsorship by Dow Chemical is against the spirit of the Olympic ideals. Olympic Games showcase the best of human endeavour, sporting spirit and camaraderie, and to have Dow Chemical even as one of the sponsors negates all these lofty values," said Malhotra.
"IOA's views not only reflect the concerns of the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy but the feelings of millions of people all over the world and it is not a partisan demand.
"We in fact are making IOC aware of the feelings of the people who have suffered due to that tragedy. It is not only the Indians who are protesting this sponsorship; there has been an outcry against this world over from various NGOs and other bodies. It is no longer a local issue."
There has been a huge outcry in India over Dow's involvement with the Games. Olympians and the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy have demanded either Dow's sponsorship be withdrawn or India boycott the event.
Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ioa-to-lodge-protest-over-london-olympic-sponsor-dow/1/164530.html
More at the linkThe Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday came out in open against Dow... more
Truth be told, there were tears in my eyes as I sat there, translating and tweeting amongst the bustling crowd of media and hundreds of people, most of them farmers. After an intensive public trial covering a range of human rights violations, on December 6, the jurors issued a scathing verdict to the six largest pesticide and biotechnology corporations, urging governments to take action to prevent further harm. The crowd erupted in a roar of applause, and later, congratulations were shared in at least seven languages.
The verdict was handed down to the six largest pesticide corporations — Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow and Dupont — collectively known as the “Big 6,” for their human rights violations, including internationally recognized rights to life, livelihood and health. The agrichemical industry is valued at over $42 billion and operates with impunity while over 355,000 people die from pesticide poisoning every year, and hundreds of thousands more are made ill. In addition, pesticide corporations have put livelihoods and jobs in jeopardy, including those of farmers, beekeepers and indigenous peoples.
The preliminary findings, to be elaborated and finalized by the jury over the next two weeks, include these recommendations for governments:
Prosecute corporations for criminal liability, rather than civil liability only;
Fully commit to and legislate for the precautionary principle; and
Prevent corporations from directly or indirectly harassing and intimidating scientists, farmers and human rights and environmental defenders, in any form.
The tribunal was only made possible through the incredible collaboration of many people — and the support of 400 organizations and more than 7,000 individual people, worldwide. The Center for Food Safety, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, and Farmworker Association of Florida were key contributors in United States.
As for my part, I'm elated and exhausted, both. But that's just tonight. Tomorrow, it's time for the planning meeting for what comes next, and I'm energized and honored to take part, and for PAN to be part of the growing momentum around the world that seeks an end to corporate abuse, putting fairness and dignity in its place.
Nearly 30 years after the the original "Dirty Dozen" campaign that launched PAN International, I feel another global groundswell coming on.
more at the linkTruth be told, there were tears in my eyes as I sat there, translating and tweeting... more
Dow Chemical acquired Union Carbide as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2001. They are therefore responsible for the clean up of the former Union Carbide Factory site in Bhopal, India. The area around the factory is densely populated and continues to be heavily contaminated by chemicals and toxins produced by the factory which Dow, despite their evident responsibility, have thus far refused to clean up.
The situation in Bhopal is a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe that continues to affect tens of thousands of people today. For further information see www.bhopal.org
The organisers of the Olympic Games claim that they are committed to organising a sustainable and environmentally friendly event. It is therefore completely unacceptable for Dow Chemical to be sold rights to print their logo all over the the fabric wrapping of the olympic stadium.
More at the link
Please sign this petition for all who have been victims of these environmental crimes.Dow Chemical acquired Union Carbide as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2001. They are... more
The Indian Olympic Association may boycott the London Olympics in protest at Dow Chemical's involvement as a sponsor after a group of India's current and former Olympians organised a petition calling for athletes not to travel to London.
"We feel that it will be against the basic principles of the Olympics charter to partner with Dow Chemical, which is responsible for the ongoing disaster in Bhopal," the athletes wrote in a petition sent to the Indian government.
Dow, which will create the £7m wrap around the Olympic Stadium, has links to Union Carbide Corporation, the firm responsible for the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984 that led to thousands of deaths at the time and which many campaigners believe is still affecting the health of people in the area.
Shivraj Singh Chauhan, a minister in the Bhopal region, has backed the athletes' firm stance and demanded in a letter to India's sports minister, Ajay Maken, that the government support a boycott if Dow's sponsorship continues.
V K Malhotra, the acting president of the Indian Olympic Association, said a meeting was scheduled in 10 days' time in which the matter would be discussed after first hearing the response of the government to the petition.
The Indian government is still pursuing a further £1.1bn from Dow for victims after Union Carbide paid £300m as compensation.
Talk of a boycott will put more pressure on the London 2012 Organising Committee, which has defended the deal with Dow, despite protests from campaign groups and MPs who claim it has outstanding liabilities relating to the disaster.
The London 2012 chairman, Lord Coe, said: "I am satisfied that the ownership, operation and the involvement either at the time of the disaster or at the final settlement was not the responsibility of Dow."
More at the linkThe Indian Olympic Association may boycott the London Olympics in protest at Dow... more
Corporations carry out some of the most horrific human rights abuses of modern times, but it is increasingly difficult to hold them to account. Economic globalization and the rise of transnational corporate power have created a favorable climate for corporate human rights abusers, which are governed principally by the codes of supply and demand and show genuine loyalty only to their stockholders. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/recent-news/43017-some-of-the-qmost-wantedq-corporate-human-rights-violatorsCorporations carry out some of the most horrific human rights abuses of modern times,... more
1 year ago
Olympic organisers are under growing pressure to reconsider a lucrative sponsorship deal that was awarded to a controversial US chemicals firm which has "failed to address one of the worst corporate-related human rights disasters of the 20th century".
Amnesty International will today demand that Lord Coe publicly reveal how the deal with the Dow Chemical Company (Dow), which gives it "exclusive marketing rights" to the main stadium, complies with London 2012's ethical code.
Dow is the 100 per cent owner of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), the company responsible for the 1984 gas disaster in Bhopal, India, which is thought to have killed 10,000 in its immediate aftermath and 15,000 since.
The company's name will be emblazoned on the £7m artwork "wrap" around the main stadium, guaranteeing months of exposure. Dow and UCC are defendants in a public-interest litigation case in an Indian state court for clean-up of the factory site. They have refused to comply with an application by an Indian Ministry request of 1bn rupees (£12.3m at today's exchange rate) as an advance for clean-up costs.
Health and human rights groups in Bhopal continue to report high rates of congenital deformities and cancers among families who are forced to use contaminated groundwater sources.
More than 10 independent scientific studies show dangerous levels of chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride in water supplies. Earlier this month, The Independent witnessed children as young as eight filling sacks with contaminated soil from the factory landfill to use for building material in their homes.
MPs want the Government to intervene in the controversial deal, which threatens to overshadow the image of the London Games. Critics say Lord Coe must explain Locog's admission that the deal was struck after Dow provided "a full briefing" about Bhopal. The Bhopal Medical Appeal accuses Olympics organisers of "playing dumb over universal legal principles".
Tessa Jowell, the shadow Olympics minister, said last night: "Given the allegations which have been made about Dow's responsibilities in Bhopal it is clear that there are further pressing questions that they must answer."
Home Affairs Select Committee chair Keith Vaz has tabled an Early Day Motion condemning the decision. "If sustainability is at the heart of Locog's decision making as they claim, they need to look long and hard at their decision to do business with Dow," he said.
More at the linkOlympic organisers are under growing pressure to reconsider a lucrative sponsorship... more
The protests come as the US president has embarked on a three-day visit to boost business with India.
In reaction to the visit, victims of a toxic tragedy in the city of Bhopal held a sit-in, demanding compensation for the fatal incident.
More than 500,000 people were exposed to toxic gas after 40 tons of deadly chemical leaked at the Indian subsidiary of the US Corporation Union Carbide on December 3, 1984.
Around 5,000 people died in the immediate aftermath, and some 15,000 more died in the weeks that followed.
Many have suffered life-long chronic illness as a result and many children have been born with birth defects 25 years after the world's worst industrial disaster.
The protesters are also demanding President Obama take action against the Union Carbide and Dow Chemicals for breaching the law for many years.
People also gathered in the eastern state of Orissa, protesting against President Obama's presence in the country, arguing that he has been unable to maintain peace in developing countries.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir Action Committee staged a demonstration in Pakistan's Lahore, calling on the US president to take a strong stance against the Indian government's crackdown on the Kashmiris.
More than 100 people have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir since June, when the residents began holding anti-India demonstrations.
President Obama's decision to spend three days in India, while bypassing Pakistan, has also come under fierce criticism.
A Washington Post report said that the move has sparked anxiety among government officials in Islamabad due to fears that the US president's visit could likely upset the delicate balance of power between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e91_1289151908The protests come as the US president has embarked on a three-day visit to boost... more
Supreme court agrees to review case after outcry over chemical firm officials' lenient sentences
India's supreme court has reopened the Bhopal toxic gas leak case in response to a government petition seeking harsher punishment for officials from Union Carbide, the chemical company responsible.
In a decision that delighted the long-running campaign for justice by the survivors of the 1984 gas disaster, India's highest court today agreed to review its earlier decision that reduced the crime from one of "culpable homicide" to "a rash and negligent act".
Because of the lighter charges, seven Union Carbide officials received just two-year prison sentences when the court case finally concluded in June this year – 25 years after the accident, which the government says killed around 3,500 people. Activists say at least 22,000 died in the immediate aftermath and the following years.
The sentences led to a national outcry, forcing Delhi to tell the federal police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to ask the court for more stringent charges with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.
"For the first time after 26 years of struggle and suffering, suddenly we see a ray of hope thanks to the supreme court decision," Balkrishna Namdeo, a gas leak victim, said on television from Bhopal. "Now there is hope that we will get justice."
However, former Union Carbide chairman Keshub Mahindra and the six other senior officials will be given an opportunity to try to convince the three judges that they should not face more serious charges before a final decision is issued.
Because of the length of time taken for the existing sentences to be handed down, there is concern among survivors that they might face many more years of legal wrangling.
Earlier this month another bench of the supreme court likened the delay to the fictional Jarndyce v Jarndyce case in Charles Dickens' Bleak House.
"In that case the matter dragged on for 100 years; several generations had died," the judges said. "The descendants, the advocates and the judges were not aware what the case was about, but they were fighting it. India is also becoming like that. Cases keep dragging."
By the time the Bhopal case is decided, the judges added, "the victims will all be dead".
CBI counsel Devadutt Kamat said once the supreme court decided on the petition it could issue orders for an "expeditious hearing".Supreme court agrees to review case after outcry over chemical firm officials'... more
Union Carbide had caused the worst industrial accident in the world in Bhopal India 26 years ago killing around 15,000 persons and destroying the health and lives of many more people for many generations to come due to the inhalation of leaked deadly poisonous gas during their sleep. Dow Chemicals has taken over Union Carbide after this worst industrial disaster and both these companies have been refusing to be held accountable for this genocide. Large MNCs seem to care for the lives of US citizens only and treat the rest of the humans as expendable commodities like the raw materials and energy in all its forms they consume in their production processes. Extremely corrupt politicians at the highest levels in many countries seem to be helping such most irresponsible MNCs in every possible way in getting away with such huge criminality.
R P Rammohan
http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&srchtype=discussedNews&gid=97484&item=24749133&type=member&trk=EML_anet_qa_ttle-0Rt79xs2RVr6JBpnsJt7dBpSBAUnion Carbide had caused the worst industrial accident in the world in Bhopal India 26... more