Oct 20 2014 by Bhopal Medical Appeal
Timeline Toward: 30th Anniversary, Bhopal Disaster. 2nd & 3rd December 2014
This timeline includes significant events involving the survivors’ organizations in Bhopal, and the Bhopal Medical Appeal, along with significant others.
The timeline also includes significant events around the release of ‘A Prayer for Rain’ a Bhopal Disaster feature film about to be released in the US & India. The film stars: Martin Sheen, Kai Penn and Mischa Barton.
The Bhopal survivors organizations, the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, and the Bhopal Medical Appeal are all endorsing the film, on the basis that it represents a fair portrayal of the main facts of the disaster story, and hope that it will bring these facts to a new, much wider audience.
Other important announcements will be made as time moves on toward the anniversary date.
|August 31st- October 26th
Bhopal’s Second Disaster photo exhibition by Alex Masi
Noordelicht PhotoFestival, the Netherlands.
September 18th – 4th December
Survivors’ Organisations announce beginning of direct action campaign leading up to the 30th anniversary date.
October 3rd-November 30th
Bhopal’s Second Disaster photo exhibition by Alex Masi
Singapore International Photography Festival
October 29th – November 23rd
Bhopal’s Second Disaster photo exhibition by Alex Masi
Zoom Photo Festival, Saguenay, Canada.
Prayer for Rain Celebrity screening, NYC (with Martin Sheen).
Prayer for Rain Celebrity screening, NYC.
Prayer for Rain Opening, (official world premiere) NYC, The Village East Theatre.
Criminal Case Hearing, Bhopal Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court
Dow’s wholly owned subsidiary Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) is wanted on CRIMINAL charges of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ and is a ‘proclaimed absconder’ from Indian justice. Dow has total control of UCC but has not produced UCC in court.
A summons has been issued to Dow requiring it attend court on November 12. Dow will be required to explain why UCC has repeatedly ignored court summons in the ongoing criminal case.
Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Director for Global Issues, recently said: “The time has come for Dow to appear in an Indian court and account for the failure of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Union Carbide, to respond to the criminal charges against it.”
November 13th – 23rd
Prayer for Rain Screenings, St Louise International Film Festival.
2 screenings (Dates TBC)
Prayer for Rain Opening, Los Angeles (with Martin Sheen).
November 15th (TBC) – indefinite
Bhopal Survivors Fast
Survivors of Bhopal Disaster will embark on an indefinite fast demanding that Central Government pursue the ‘curative petition’ that seeks to redress the ‘gross inadequacy’ (Indian Govt’ official position) of the 1989 settlement.
November 17th- December 17th
#BhopalFacing30 Photo exhibition, Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, Shoreditch, London.
Book Launch #BhopalFacing30 Housman’s Radical Bookshop, London.
Launch of book with speakers: Francesca Moore (authour), Colin Toogood (Bhopal Medical Appeal).
Gala Event with London Assembly Member Navin Shah, ‘London Living Room’, City Hall.
Plus launch of City Hall showing of #BhopalFacing30 (showing Nov 21-28)
Speakers from Amnesty International (plus other high profile speakers TBC)
November 26th- December 7th
Conference plus Raghu Rai photo exhibition, The Tetley, Leeds
The Reframing Disaster exhibition and conference focuses on the politics of remembering, commemorating and supporting the long-term recovery in relation to global disasters. The exhibition at The Tetley will present the work of world-renowned Magnum photographer Raghu Rai, the first to document the Bhopal disaster in 1984.
Music for Bhopal 30th Anniversary Concert
Brighton Unitarian Church. An evening of traditional Indian music and classical pieces. Highlights include: Akash Indian Flute and Tabla Duo, plus a piano recital and other yet to be confirmed acts.30 November – 1st December 11:00 – 21:00
Mela of the alternatives
Iqbal Maidan, Bhopal
Indian and international groups showcase models of socially just and environmentally sustainable alternatives to current practices and systems.1st December 18:00
Drum Out Dow
A ritual condemnation and visual humiliation of Dow Chemical tapping in to the spirit of the rich tradition of performance protests, for which the Bhopal campaign is well-known, with a gathering of ‘traditional’ Indian drummers.
1st December 18:30 – 20:30
Globalisation Series Lecture with Dr.Vandana Shiva & Ravi Rajan
Brunei Theatre, SOAS London
Bhopal Medical Appeal to host major lecture- simulcast to international universities: GLOBALIZATION SINCE BHOPAL:
THREE DECADES OF ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER
Featuring VANDANA SHIVA a leading member of the International Forum on Globalisation and prominent figure of the alter-globalisation movement & RAVI RAJAN associate Professor, Department of Environmental Studies, University of California.
In commemoration of the Bhopal Disaster, with this symposium our speakers reflect back on the decades since that tragic night and ask what lessons have been learned. Did the disaster entrench the inequalities inherent in exporting a risky and hazardous technology in to a developing country, or have regulatory advances since 1984 produced a safer and more equitable world?
Have the humanitarian, legal, and scientific institutions that were so inadequate to respond to Bhopal become more sophisticated with time, or has the legacy of Bhopal become a dangerous precedent for globalized corporate impunity?
December 1st- 7th
Prayer for Rain, INDIA release
Bhopal, Open Air Screening for Bhopal Disaster survivors (with Martin Sheen) on December 3rd with concert from Canadian band AutoRickshaw
Mumbai, Screening/ Premier (with Martin Sheen).
New Delhi, Screening/ Gala Event/ Charity Auction paintings (with Martin Sheen).
December 1st- 7th
Trades Union Deputation to Bhopal
Representatives of various UK trades unions will be visiting Bhopal for a programme of commemorative and relationship building events. Including:
Meetings with representatives of survivors’ organisations; visit to the remains of the Union Carbide factory; meeting with former workers Union Carbide factory workers; visits to neighbourhood communities including those affected by the contaminated water; visits to our two, innovative centres which were established by disaster survivors and funded by the Bhopal Medical Appeal (Chingari Trust children’s rehabilitation centre; and Sambhavna Trust health care clinic); meeting in New Delhi with leaders of India’s central trades union congresses (INTUC, AITUC, CITU, HMS, IFTU) and those of the New Trade Union Initiatives in India (NTUI);
International Trades Union Solidarity Event- 2nd December 16:00- 17:00
A joint statement will be released for the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
Current delegates include representatives from Unison, Unite, CWU, Community, UCU, STUC disabled workers committee, Edinburgh TUC and Hazards campaign
December 2nd 11:00 – 16:00
National Solidarity Meet
Iqbal Maidan, Bhopal
Various other organizations will be in attendance including Amnesty International, Rotary Peace Fellows, others TBC
December 2nd 16:00- 17:00
International Trades Union Solidarity Event
A joint statement will be released for the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
December 2nd 17:00 – 18:00
Festival of street theatre and music
Iqbal Maiden, Bhopal
December 2nd 18:30 – 22:00
Torchlight parade & homage to the dead.
Iqbal Maiden to Union Carbide factory
December 3rd 12:00 – 15:30
30th anniversary Rally & Public Meeting
With the traditional, and spectacular, burning of giant effigies.
Bharat Talkies Crossing to Union Carbide Factory
December 3rd 18:00 – 22:00
Open Air Screening for Bhopal Disaster survivors (with Martin Sheen). Concert from Canadian band AutoRickshaw. Venue TBC
International Action TBA
Oct 13 2014 by Bhopal Medical Appeal
On the 6th October the Black Workers’ Conference of the Scottish trade union congress unanimously passed a motion in support of the Bhopalis’ struggles
Bhopal Disaster 30 Years On
“That this Conference notes the forthcoming anniversary of 30 years since the catastrophic Bhopal disaster, still considered the world’s worst industrial accident with 20,000 deaths, 500,000 injured and approximately 150,000 still struggling with serious medical conditions.
“The owner of the plant at the time of the leaks was Union Carbide and is now Dow Chemicals. Dow has inherited liability, but never paid appropriate compensation. The environmental impact continues to devastate communities, health and livelihoods within a large impoverished area.
“In December 2014, a delegation of Scottish trade unionists will visit Bhopal. Their invitation comes in recognition of the support Scotland has given to Bhopal Medical Appeal, which continues to run free health clinics for all the victims of the toxic exposure and contamination.
“Conference congratulates the Scottish Friends of Bhopal and agrees to send a message of solidarity to the December events, as well as encourage all affiliates to support the Bhopal Medical Appeal.”
Oct 9 2014 by Bhopal Medical Appeal
Reframing Disaster, 26 November- 7 December, Leeds
As a part of the ‘Representing Postcolonial Disaster’ research project, Leeds University will be hosting a number of interesting events examining the representation of various disasters commemorating significant anniversaries this year- including the Bhopal Disaster.
Amongst these will be an exhibition of Raghu Rai’s famous Bhopal work, which will be shown at the Tetley Gallery, along with other events- including a two-day conference on the 28th- 29th November, a special event in partnership with the University of Leeds including dance, talks, readings and interviews.
Reframing Disaster- Raghu Rai photo Exhibition
(c) Raghu Rai/ Greenpeace 2002
Post-colonial Disaster Conference
“2014 is a significant year for commemorating and thinking through the legacies of major global catastrophes. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Bhopal Gas Disaster in India, the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, and the 10th anniversary of the South Asian tsunami. While much attention is being paid to the centenary of World War I, we would like to counterpoint this by considering the politics of remembering, commemorating, and supporting long-term recovery in relation to a range of compound catastrophes that have deep colonial roots. Given that Bhopal, Rwanda, and the Tsunami have all generated significant media interest alongside diverse forms of creative response (from art to social activism), this conference will explore how these and other postcolonial disasters have been defined and represented following the initial event. It will examine the particular challenges posed by different forms of disaster (industrial, environmental, social), and connect these with aid and reconstruction work across multiple sectors.
“The conference is connected to an AHRC-funded research project led by Dr Anthony Carrigan, entitled ‘Representing Postcolonial Disaster’, and will be part of a week-long series of activities designed to coincide directly with the Bhopal disaster’s 30th anniversary on 2–3 December, and with the South Asian tsunami’s 10th anniversary later that month. The overall event has been planned in collaboration with the Bhopal Medical Appeal and local community groups, and will be inclusive and public-facing, with film screenings, school workshops, and exhibitions being staged throughout the week with the core aim of stimulating public visibility and discussion. It will include an exhibition by world-renowned Indian photographer Raghu Rai (the first photographer to document the Bhopal disaster), to be held at the Tetley Gallery (http://thetetley.org/), along with contributions from writers, artists, filmmakers, publishers, and charity representatives who have worked to publicise and support recovery efforts in relation to these disasters.
“The conference will be self-consciously public-facing, speaking across diverse sectors and audiences, featuring presentations from a range of disciplines and stakeholders with a particular focus on: issues of political and artistic representation (including novels, poetry, films, popular culture, and visual art); colonialism and disaster; the politics of remembering, commemorating, and forgetting; the geopolitics of aid; and social activism and remediation. Possible topics include:
- Historical and contemporary responses to postcolonial disasters in art and media;
- The challenges of recovery, reconstruction, remediation, and justice;
- Local, ethnographic, and diasporic perspectives on disasters;
- Bhopal, Rwanda, and the South Asian Tsunami in comparative frame, including relationships with other forms of postcolonial disaster;
- Charity and humanitarian perspectives and critiques;
- State responsibilities and global justice campaigns;
- Defining postcolonial disaster, including complex emergencies, chronic catastrophes (e.g. underdevelopment and systemic poverty), and slow violence.”
Sep 24 2014 by Bhopal Medical Appeal
Museum of Water is a collection of publicly donated water and accompanying stories. Accumulated over two years by artist Amy Sharrock, in different sites worldwide, Museum of Water is an invitation to ponder our precious liquid and how we use it.
“In a time of relative plenty in Britain, we are gathering a collection of water for future generations to consider. Clean water is more and more difficult to access across the world: will people look back at our current profligacy with horror and amazement…will the notions of fountains, swimming pools and baths become as archaic as the Broad St Pump now seems? We need to hold on to it, consider what is precious about it and how we are using it now in order to explore how we might save it for the future.”
In a 2006 speech to the UN Andrew Liveris (Chairman and CEO of Dow) said: “Water is the single most important chemical compound for the preservation and flourishing of human life… “And yet today, more than a billion people are in peril every day because they do not have enough water or the water they have is unhealthy. Lack of clean water is the single largest cause of disease in the world and more than 4,500 children die each day because of it.”
B’eauPal is a spoof mineral water brand conceived by the BMA and TheYesMen. It is intended to draw attention to the hypocrisy demonstrated by Dow Chemical with their willingess to make glib sounding statements, such as the above whilst, apparently, being happy to allow a water contamination disaster to continue in Bhopal with which it is connected.
B’eauPal Water CLICK HERE
Bhopal’s Second Disaster- Facts:
- The groundwater aquifer in Bhopal, around the abandoned Union Carbide factory (site of 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster), is heavily contaminated with highly toxic chemicals.
- This groundwater has been the only reliable drinking water source for tens of thousands of people for many of the years since the gas disaster. It remains the principle supply for an unknown number to this day.
- The contamination is being caused by water leaching through toxic waste that was buried on the factory site and by leakage from solar evaporation ponds located just outside of the factory site.
- The solar evaporation ponds are known to have been leaking years before the disaster (an internal Union Carbide memo from 1982 reveals this).
- Union Carbide was aware of the environmental and groundwater contamination, after carrying out tests in the area, but chose to keep the findings of these tests secret.
- The toxic contamination of the area only became public knowledge when Greenpeace tested the area and published a report, in 1999, labeling the area a ‘global toxic hotspot’.
- The US courts accept that the water contamination is a separate issue from the gas disaster.
- Dow Chemical, as current owner of Union Carbide, is responsible for the continuing contamination.
Is it any wonder that Dow Chemical has just been given the ethecon 2014 Black Planet Award?
Museum of Water- B’eauPal CLICK HERE
Dow Chemical’s Black Planet Award CLICK HERE
Sep 23 2014 by Bhopal Medical Appeal
Andrew N. Liveris (CEO) and James M. Ringler (Member of the Board) as well as major shareholders of DOW CHEMICAL Company (USA) are named and shamed with the negative 2014 International ethecon Black Planet Award.
Since 2006 ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economy has been presenting two annual awards: the International ethecon Blue Planet Award and the International ethecon Black Planet Award.
The International ethecon Blue Planet Award honours individuals who have shown extraordinary commitment in protecting and defending human ethics in the conflict area between ethics and economics, thus fighting to protect and save our Blue Planet.
The International ethecon Black Planet Award names and shames individuals who have trampled on human ethics in the most shocking ways in the same conflict area between ethics and economics, thereby destroying our Blue Planet and turning it into a Black Planet.
ethecon Explain Why Dow Chemical Are Awarded the Black Planet 2014
“The President and Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee Andrew Liveris, the Board member and member of the Auditing Committee James M. Ringler as well as major shareholders of DOW CHEMICAL Company (USA) are named and shamed with the 2014 International ethecon Black Planet Award as those responsible for countless grievances and crimes in the name of profits.
“Here are a few examples:
Dow Chemical took over the pesticide manufacturer UNION CARBIDE in 2001. Hence, responsibility for the worst-ever chemical accident in the City of Bhopal (India) with millions of inhabitants was transferred to DOW CHEMICAL. James M. Ringler was a Board member of UNION CARBIDE when DOW bought the company and therefore has immediate responsibility; he now has a mandate and a seat on the Board of DOW CHEMICAL. UNION CARBIDE’s Bhopal pesticide factory exploded in 1984 causing a cloud of poisonous gas to drift across densely populated areas. Within the first few days 8,000 people died from the poison. Until today 20,000 people have died from the after-effects, and more than 150,000 are chronically ill. Even today, in the third generation, tens of thousands of people are poisoned and die. The toxic chemicals were never cleaned up. They have seeped into the soil across a vast area, polluting the groundwater. Even the hospitals caring for the victims had to be built by the people themselves, and they run on donations year after year. After UNION CARBIDE left the people alone after the disaster, never paying them adequate compensation nor rectifying the local situation, DOW CHEMICAL took over the their whole pesticide operation, but denied any legal responsibility; Dow did nothing to rectify the after-effects of the industrial disaster and left the people of Bhopal without any help and support.
“Likewise, DOW CHEMICAL’s top management denies any responsibility for the ongoing suffering of the Vietnamese civilian population as a result of poisons sprayed during the Vietnam War. DOW CHEMICAL was one of the companies producing the defoliant Agent Orange and the petrol mixture Napalm. Napalm bombs and Agent Orange covered large areas without regard to the civilian population. DOW CHEMICAL supplied 4,550 tons of Napalm until 1966. From 1961 until 1971, the US Army sprayed 90 million litres of Agent Orange all over Vietnam as well as over parts of Laos and Cambodia. It contains the super toxin dioxin, which has led to cancer in three million people so far, and caused birth defects, now in the third generation.
“To this day the activities of the chemical company are geared exclusively to profit maximisation. The highly toxic substance Asbestos has been outlawed internationally a long time ago. However, the US company DOW CHEMICAL still uses this substance in the production in Europe’s biggest chloride factory in the German town of Stade. DOW is the only plant in the EU still using asbestos with a special exemption expiring in 2017. But DOW CHEMICAL has demanded an extension until 2025. So they knowingly accept the risk of possible damage to health and the environment.
“From sponsoring parties in election campaigns, tax dodging, destruction of the environment and supporting genetic engineering to radioactive contamination, falsifying measurements, manipulation of prices or bribery – DOW CHEMICAL is involved in countless crimes against humanity and the environment. From its inception in 1897, with the extraction of the extremely poisonous bleaching agent bromine from brine, the corporation has been synonymous with structural threats. To name just a few of the known crimes committed by this company: radioactive pollution near Denver between 1953 and 1975, dioxin pollution of Tittibawasee River in Michigan since the 1980s, careless handling of field trials with genetically engineered plants and seeds, e.g. in Kaua’i (Hawaii), production of asbestos in Stade (Germany) and being the greatest water polluter in Texas. The company has been in the top ranks ever since the Top Toxic 100 Air Polluters were named in 2004 in a risk assessment of chronic health hazards in the USA. The economic cooperation of DOW and the US Army symbolizes the company’s warmongering. At the same time, DOW CHEMICAL deceived public opinion by sponsoring the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in a bid to present itself as a company that cares about social and ecological concerns. Considering the endless list of the company’s crimes, this can only be called cynical.
“The trustees and the board of ethecon make the following declaration:
Andrew Liveris, chairman of the board and the executive committee, James M. Ringler, member of the board and of the auditing committee as well as the major shareholders are responsible for the decisions and actions of the DOW CHEMICAL company (USA). They own the company and they are its leaders. They are to be held accountable for the large scale ruin of human health and the destruction of the environment, and even for many deaths. They constitute a danger not only for peace and human rights but also for democracy, ecology and humanity as a whole. They act only for personal gain and power. To this end, they trample on morality and ethics, even if it means the destruction of Mother Earth.
ethecon regard the actions of Andrew Liveris, James M. Ringler and the major shareholders of DOW CHEMICAL company (USA) as a shocking contribution to the ruin and destruction of our Blue Planet. It is because of this appalling disrespect for and violation of human ethics that ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economy denounce those responsible for DOW CHEMICAL with the 2014 International ethecon Black Planet Award.
“The 2014 International ethecon Black Planet Award will be presented to Andrew N. Liveris, James M. Ringler and major shareholders of DOW CHEMICAL company, like the 2014 International ethecon Blue Planet Award to Tomo Kriznar, at a public ceremony in Berlin. The date will be announced in due course.”
Sep 22 2014 by Charlie in Brighton
Representatives and campaigners from the Bhopal Medical Appeal were invited to attend a special screening of Ravi Kumar’s Bhopal A Prayer For Rain at the prestigious Plaza Hotel in New York on September the 18th. The film directed by Ravi Kumar stars Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, Mischa Barton, Tannishtha Chatterji, Fagun Thakar and Rajpal Yadav.
An excellent poster for the film, ‘Bhopal a Prayer For Rain’, in cinemas December 2014
Billed as a historical drama, ‘A Prayer for Rain is set amid the horrific and infamous, real-life 1984 Union Carbide factory disaster in Bhopal. Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, Badlands, the West Wing) stars as Warren Anderson, CEO of Union Carbide Corporation at the time of the disaster, and still wanted in India on criminal charges. Mischa Barton (Notting Hill, The sixth Sense, The O.C ) plays Eva Gascon, a Paris Match reporter who aids an Indian Journalist (American Actor-Producer Kal Penn).
BMA campaigner Tim Edwards, and survivor-activist Sanjay Verma, were present at the screening in New York and were able to talk to many of the cast and journalists in attendance. They conducted interviews for Indian and worldwide press, and had the opportunity to talk about the Bhopal disaster, as well as the work of the BMA, with stars including Martin Sheen and Kal Penn.
Giles Clarke, Getty Reportage photographer and long-standing friend of Bhopal, with actor Martin Sheen.
Bhopal survivor, Sanjay Verma with actor Kal Penn.
The film, shot in various locations including Hyderabad, Mumbai, and the Golconda Fort , has been in development since 2008. The director Ravi Kumar, has described it as ‘dramatisation, inspired by real events’, stating that part of his desire to make this film is because a lot of people either don’t know about Bhopal or are forgetting, and hopes that the film will re-ignite people’s interest and prevent future Bhopals.
Sanjay got to talk to Martin Sheen, who was very interested in the appeal and Sanjay’s story as a survivor of the disaster.
Produced by Chandni Roy (Sahara Move Studios) and Ravi Walia (Rising Star Entertainment), those present at the special screening have said it ’grips your attention and you get sucked into the catastrophe and helplessness of innocent people who’re unabashedly used for the lust for corporate greed‘ and that it ‘resonated emotionally with all of those present’ . The film will be promoted in India and the U.S before a worldwide release in December 2014. You can click on the link below to see the trailer:
If you would like to find out more, please contact us here