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NETWORKING AND ADVOCACY LG II.  DECEMBER 3, 1984: Shortly after midnight, poison gas leaked from a factory in Bhopal, India, owned by Union Carbide Corporation.

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Presentation on theme: "NETWORKING AND ADVOCACY LG II.  DECEMBER 3, 1984: Shortly after midnight, poison gas leaked from a factory in Bhopal, India, owned by Union Carbide Corporation."— Presentation transcript:


2  DECEMBER 3, 1984: Shortly after midnight, poison gas leaked from a factory in Bhopal, India, owned by Union Carbide Corporation.  There was no warning; none of the plant's safety systems were working. In the city people were sleeping. They woke in darkness to the sound of screams with the gases burning their eyes, noses and mouths.  Within hours thousands of dead bodies lay in the streets.  Twenty three years after the pollution episode, contamination continues to kill people in India  Third generation affected  Gas composition secret not revealed

3 Various campaigns conducted by:  Local NGOs  International Organisations  Individuals (Activists)

4  Warren Anderson, Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation at the time of the 1984 gas disaster in Bhopal is summoned along with UCC to appear before a court in Bhopal to face criminal charges of culpable homicide.  Since 1992 he and the corporation have been refusing to appear and have been declared "absconders from justice".  A non-bailable warrant has been issued for his arrest. Belated efforts by the Government of India to extradite him from the US have been rejected by the US State Department.  Campaigns to bring Anderson to India to face trial

5  This glorious idea was devised in 2002 by the women survivors of Bhopal's bastis, caused major embarrassment to Dow executives around the globe.  CEO Michael Parker was jhadoo'd at a prestigious luncheon.  Dow's European CEO fled from the broom of Champa Devi.  Mysterious beings turned up in remote Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England. All were demanding that Dow accept responsibility for Bhopal.

6  The hunger strike has been used effectively by the Bhopal survivors and their allies.  The first major fast was in 2002. It begand with three people, was taken up by another in the USA and grew into a rolling hunger strike involving more than 1,000 people around the world.  1) THE DELHI DHARNA  2) THE SEADRIFT HUNGER STRIKE BY DIANE WILSON  3) THE WORLDWIDE HUNGER STRIKE

7 The hunger strikers around the world strongly demand that:  The Government of India withdraw its application for dilution of charges before the 17 July hearings at the Bhopal Magistrates court and take immediate steps to extradite Warren Anderson.  The Government of India act rapidly to hold Dow Chemicals, Carbides new owner, responsible for the pending medical and environmental rehabilitation liabilities in Bhopal.  Dow Chemicals take full responsibility for Union Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal

8  Highly toxic chemicals abandoned by Union Carbide at its derelict factory have leaked into soil and groundwater.  Cancer- and birth-defect causing chemicals have been found in drinking wells and women in nearby communities have poisons in their breast milk.  There were campaigns for clean water to be supplied to these communities.

9  Thousands of people have been wrongfully denied compensation for injuries due to the gas disaster.  The gas victims that have been compensated have often received inadequate compensation through a process that’s often humiliating.  The children of the gas victims, who are themselves genetically affected by the gas, are not even tracked  The ICJB has campaigned for these funds to be released to survivors, to whom it belongs.

10  NRIs Urge Acceptance of the Demands of the Bhopali Survivors on Hunger-Strike.  Solidarity fasts by over 10 volunteers with Association for India’s Development and Students for Bhopal was held in front of the Indian Embassy for 3 days

11  The protestors held a banner “DOW clean up or shut up! Justice for Bhopal” which captures the irony of the CEO of Dow Chemicals, a company with a record of tarnishing the environment, preaching about energy and environment.


13  Three key acts that dealt with industrial hazards were amended, i.e. the Factories Act (1948), the Water Act (1974 and 1977), and the Air Act (1981).  The Environmental Protection Act of 1986 was enacted  Established the principle of "strict and absolute liability" in the Shriram Food and Fertilizer Industries oleum leak case.  The Supreme Court also established the principle of "vicarious liability"  The Supreme Court began taking public interest litigation for environmental protection.  New administrative units were set up at the state level to monitor compliance of laws.  National Disaster Training College was also set up in Bhopal

14 1969: Bhopal factory built in state capital of Madhya Pradesh, India. 1973: First methyl isocyanate (MIC) imported from the USA. 1979: The Bhopal plant starts to manufacture its own MIC. 1980 to 1984: Death of workers due to gas leakage. The senior officials were well aware of 61 hazards. December 2-3, 1984: Poisonous gas leak from Union Carbides pesticides factory. In three days around 8,000 people die. December 7, 1984: Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson amongst nine people arrested by Indian police during a visit to the factory. He is released on bail of US$2000 and promptly flees the country. 1985: Indian government files claim for US$3.3 billion from Union Carbide in US court. 1986: Union Carbide succeeds in persuading the court to send case back to Indian courts where it knows it will be able to get away with much smaller damages. March 1988: Chemical weapons kill thousands in the Kurdish town of Halabja. Union Carbide and Dow Chemical were among the companies which supplied chemicals to the Saddam Hussein regime, despite being warned they could be turned into nerve gases.

15 February 1989: After five years of legal wrangling the Indian Government and Union Carbide strike an out of court settlement. Compensation amount brought down to US$470 million from original US$3.3 billion claimed by the Indian Government. Union Carbide shares immediately rocket as markets realise the company has escaped lightly. April 1992: After ignoring four court summonses, Warren Anderson is declared a "proclaimed absconder" and fugitive from justice. November 1994: Indian Supreme Court allows Union Carbide to sell off its encumbered assets in India to fund a hospital. Criminal proceedings against Union Carbide become difficult to enforce because, although the accused refuse to appear in Court, Carbide no longer has any assets in India. August 1999: Union Carbide announces forthcoming merger with Dow Chemical Company. November 1999: Greenpeace tests soil, groundwater and wells iand finds 12 toxic chemicals and deadly mercury in quantities up to 6 million times higher than expected. November 1999: Several victims of Bhopal disaster file class action suit against Union Carbide and its former CEO, Warren Anderson, in federal court in New York. August 2000: Greenpeace sets up a computer centre outside the factory to allow survivors of the disaster to demand justice from Union Carbide.

16 February 2001: Union Carbide and Dow chemicals merge. Dow claims it is not responsible for a factory it didn't operate. January 9, 2002: Dow accepts Carbide's liabilities in the US and settles a Texas asbestos lawsuit originally filed against Union Carbide. January 2002: A scientific report finds lead and mercury in the breast milk of nursing mothers in neighbouring communities around the plant. May 2002: Bhopal survivors tour the US culminating in an informal meeting with the then Dow CEO, Michael Parker at the Dow AGM. Dow continues to ignore claims to clean up Bhopal. July 19, 2002: It is revealed that the Indian government plans to drop charges against Warren Anderson, Union Carbide CEO at the time of the disaster. Survivors of the disaster launch of 28 day hunger strike in Delhi and global relay hunger strike is called in support of the survivors. 17 July - 15 August, 2002: On hearing of the plight of the survivors in Bhopal, Diane Wilson starts a hunger strike outside a Dow plant in Texas, USA. The Dow factory has been polluting the Gulf coast since construction of the plant. July 2002: Commenting on the plight of survivors, Dow claims: "$500 is plenty good for an Indian." Now banned in the US, Dow still markets Dursban as safe in India.

17 August 28, 2002: Despite pressure from the Indian government, charges of culpable homicide reaffirmed against Warren Anderson in Bhopal court. Court demands his immediate extradition. August 29, 2002: Despite being wanted by India and Interpol, US authorities have made no effort to extradite Anderson, claiming they are unable to find him. September 30, 2002: A new study from The Peoples Science Institute, Dehra Dun confirms the presence of highly toxic mercury in Bhopal drinking water. October 4, 2002: The CEO of Dow Europe is presented with a broom and requested to clean up the toxic mess in Bhopal. Polite acceptance is followed by further Dow inaction. October 6 2002: "Jhaadoo Maaro Dow Ko" campaign launched by survivors in Bhopal. October 21 2002: State of Madhya Pradesh announces that it will petition the Indian Supreme Court to compel Dow Chemical to clean up the contaminated soil and ground water at the Union Carbide factory site. October 21-23 2002: Indian Government Ministers tell reporters that India is proceeding with an application to extradite Carbide's ex-CEO Warren Anderson from the US.

18 October 23 2002: ICJB activists hijack a Nature Conservancy luncheon at which Dow CEO Michael Parker is the guest of honour and interrupt his speech to present him with a broom. October 25 2002: Guidelines drawn up by us for the clean-up of Carbide's abandoned factory site are presented to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and simultaneously handed to Dow offices in India, Europe and the USA. October 2002: Bhopal survivors tour Dow plants in Europe to confront executives of Dow Chemical and chemical industry associations in different countries with brooms they have carried with them from Bhopal. November 11, 2002: Plaintiffs organisations share documents which disclose that the company and Warren Anderson had imposed "unproven technology" on their Bhopal factory in the critical MIC unit. November 14, 2002: Survivors release documents obtained via discovery in the New York class action. November 19, 2002: Activists erect signs to warn people living around an area of land used by Union Carbide to dump its hazardous waste. November 22, 2002: Secret Union Carbide documents go public. November 25, 2002: Local residents and Greenpeace activists enter the Union Carbide site to contain part of the toxic waste on site and police arrest everyone within one hour for trespassing. November 28, 2002: Dow posts an internal memo on its website stating the following: "But what we cannot and will not do - no matter where Greenpeace takes their protests and how much they seek to undermine Dow's reputation with the general public - is accept responsibility for the Bhopal accident." A few days later the author Dow CEO M. Parker is dumped.

19 December 2, 2002: Women survivors march to Indian headquarters of Dow to bring to it a sample of what is poisoning them every day. After a peaceful protest a Dow employee accepts the contaminated soil and water from around the plant. December 3, 2002: Thousands march in the streets of Bhopal on the 18th anniversary of the disaster. Candle lit demonstrations are held across the globe in support of the call for justice in Bhopal. December 3, 2002: Activists pay Dow CEO a visit at his home to ask what he will be doing about Bhopal. Parker meets with the activists, and promises to release the composition of the gas. December 3, 2002: Tired of the endless public relations platitudes on Dow's website but complete lack of action in Bhopal, internet activist group, the yesmen, decide to represent Dow a bit more honestly on the internet. The story rumbles on, on the web and in print. December 5, 2002: Money talks - Investment firms with stock of US$13 billion say Dow should resolve the Bhopal issue to prevent further damage to its image. December 13, 2002: Dow CEO M. Parker is sacked and replaced by William S. Stavropoulos who masterminded the takeover of Union Carbide. Parker was sacked only for the 'poor financial performance' of the company, apparently. December 13, 2002: Inspired by the yesmen, Greenpeace launches parody website to expose Dow's blatant double standards.

20 December 23, 2002: Dow files a claim for US$10,000 against women survivors who peacefully protested outside the Dow Bombay office on Dec 2nd. Not content with ignoring Bhopal, Dow is now suing the very people it should be helping. January 7, 2003: To show Dow that problems in India cannot just be ignored because they are far away, ICJB activists returned Bhopal waste to its new owner at Dow's biggest plant outside the US. Dow's response: arrests of over twenty activists. January 23, 2003: In the last few months Dow has recieved over 15,000 emails and thousands more postcards asking it to clean up Bhopal. So far it has ignored all messages from concerned citizens. Se we organised something that is not so easily ingnored - a call in day to Dow's ethics line. Hundreds of people called in and Dow's response was the closure of phone lines to any questions on Bhopal. March 10, 2003: To highlight Dow's attempts to silence survivors protests in India with a US$10,000 damages claim, we launch a internet sit-in of Dow's greenwash site at True to form Dow refuses to drop the suit against peaceful protestors and attempts to evade the internet action with technical tricks. The protest brings down on Wednesday 12 March. March 11, 2003: Activists block the entrances to the Houston Dow Center after delivering 250 gallons of contaminated water taken from wells in Bhopal, the site of the world's worst industrial disaster. Dow gets people in chemical suits to remove the water but is content to let poor Indians use it everyday?

21 March 18, 2003: Disappointment as a US court throws out Bhopal survivors' civil damages lawsuit. "glaring instance of juridical prejudice." March 25, 2003: Survivors organisations confirm intent to appeal the decision. Even the local paper in Dow's hometown says Dow should be cleaning up the polluted site. April 22, 2003: Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, gas affected Bhopal survivors and Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action arrive in Texas for a 40 day tour of the US. During their tour, Rashida and Champa visit various communities affected by Dow Chemical, and also engage in strategic discussion with support groups to strengthen their struggle for justice. May 1, 2003: Rasheeda, Champa and long-time Bhopal activist Satinath Sarangi along with other Bhopal supporters launch a satyagraha - fast for justice - against Union Carbide's new owner, Dow Chemical, with a demonstration in New York. May 8, 2003: At the Dow annual meeting in Midland, Michigan, Rasheeda, Champa and Satinath bring the disaster home to top executives of Dow Chemical. William Stavaropolos, Dow CEO, claims in a speech to the shareholders at the meeting that Dow-Carbide no longer faces any criminal cases in India. John Musser, Dow's public relations spokesperson is later forced to admit that this claim is wrong. May 12, 2003: The three hunger strikers today end their personal fast by calling on supporters and justice campaigners around the world to take over and fast in relays from now until the 19th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster. July 1, 2003: Significant developments as the Indian government finally and reluctantly do what it and its predecessors ought to have done long ago by serving extradition papers to the US government for the chairman of Carbide at the time of the disaster, Warren Anderson. July 22, 2003: Eighteen members of US Congress send a letter to Dow Chairman William Stavropoulos demanding that his company assume liability for the wrongdoings of Union Carbide (its 100 percent subsidiary) in Bhopal.

22 CategoryPeople I1Environment Health and Safety community across the globe I2Professional organizations I3Processing industry I4Social workers and environmentalists working for public benefits I5Government and funding agencies I6Media D1People D2Affected Parent company D3 Local politicians, social workers, and non-profit organizations involved in relief operation D4Law-practitioners D5Medical practitioners D6Media & consummate journalists & book writers D7Bureaucrats whose job profile was closely associated with the incident


24 StakeholderEffectsReactionsActivitiesOutcomes People Loss of livesOutrage Collective action Communal Harmony Health Hazards AngerProtestMedical Relief DistressOutcryCampaigningCompensation Economic Impacts Justice Poverty International Attention Social Imbalance Legal action Communal disharmony Policy Changes

25 StakeholdersEffectsReactionsActivitiesOutcomes Government Social Imbalance Concerns regarding immediate relief of people Medical rehabilitation Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department Government of MP were set up. Political instability Concerns regarding oppositional and people’s furore Economic rehabilitation Welfare commission was set up Economic impacts Concerns regarding rehabilitation Social rehabilitation Bhopal memorial hospital trust and research centre Legal Issues Environmental rehabilitation Centre for rehabilitation studies International Conflicts of interest Judicial and administrative rehabilitation

26 StakeholderEffectsReactionsActivitiesOutcomes Union Carbide/DOW Loss of business Concerns regarding furore of people Power GamesMinimal liability Legal Issues Apprehensions of litigations and government actions Networking to get through clean Withdrawal of charges Loss of faith of the community Apprehensions of economic losses Compensation offer to the awe struck Further operations of the company in India remained unaffected Denial of disclosure of the gas composition

27 StakeholdersEffectsReactionsActivitiesOutcomes NGOs and Activists Empathy Concerns and apprehensions regarding relief and rehabilitation Mobilization of resources Formation of people’s organisations Congruence and congregation Public disapproval of Dow chemicals Campaigns and conventions Disclosure of chemical processes in production was made a legal obligation Protests Rashida Bee and Champa Devi received the Goldman Award Relief measures Survey and research International community mobilisation

28 StakeholdersEffectsReactionsActivitiesOutcomes International Organisations Sense of urgency Empathy and concerns for the affected people Mobilisation of International funds and resources International medical commission on Bhopal was set up Pesticide Action Network North America became active for the issue Greenpeace became active Surveys and research by International organisations Condemnation of Government policies overlooking the common gentry of Bhopal Permanent people’s tribunal helped too

29 Total no wards in Bhopal M.C.(1984)56 Total no of Gas Affected wards36 Total no of Non Gas Affected wards20 Estimated Population of Bhopal M.C.(1984)8,94,539 Estimated Population of 36 wards(1984)5,59,835 Estimated Population of 20 wards(1984)3,34,704 Super-Specialty hospitals01 Specialty hospitals02 General hospitals04 Day Care Units/Dispensaries09 Ayurvedic Dispensaries03 Homeopathic Dispensaries03 Unani Dispensaries03 MEDICAL REHABILITATION (as on MAY 2007) FACTS AND FIGURES

30  152 Industrial Shed have been constructed.  42 Work Shed have been constructed.  Industrial Training Institute have been established.  Rs.4.00 crores has been earmarked for economic rehabilitation of gas victims.  Expenditure upto May, 2007 Rs.27.05 Crores

31  Widow pension was provided to widows of the gas related deaths @ Rs.200/- p.m. (Now it has been stopped)  2486 houses has been constructed and allotted to Kith & Kin of Gas victims diseased  27 Orphans were maintained since 1984 to 2000 at present 3 orphans children were providing assistance.  Expenditure upto May, 2007 Rs.45.69 Crores

32  plantation of trees  development of green belts and open areas  children’s park  construction and covering Nullahs  pavement of streets  construction of roads  construction of sewage/drainage  improvement of water supply schemes  development of open land  lighting of streets  disposal of wastes etc.  Supply of 9,000 smokeless choolahs  Expenditure upto May, 2007 Rs.28.55 Crores

33 Total cases registered10,29,517 Number of decided cases10,29,517 Number of awarded cases574304 Number of rejected cases455213 Total compensation awardedRs.1546.47 crores Total compensation disbursedRs.1545.97 crores


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