A hunger strike, organized by the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, has now entered its third week.
The fast was launched, by Harvard students in the US, on December 3rd, the 29th anniversary of the world’s worst industrial disaster. The goal of the fast is to draw attention to key demands of the survivors: clean-up of the contaminated site, medical relief and economic rehabilitation of all survivors, and prosecution of Dow Chemical, whose subsidiary Union Carbide’s pesticide factory was the site of the 1984 disaster.
The ICJB have organized the fast as a year-long global solidarity action and it is already receiving strong support. In the two weeks since the fast began, over 30 people have already fasted for a whole day.
In a strong show of high-profile support, noted environmental activist and author Diane Wilson joined the solidarity fast and is now 9 days into a month long hunger strike.
Diane, a lone woman wearing a cowboy hat, has settled herself in the back of an old pick-up truck outside the Dow (formerly Carbide) chemical plant in Sea Drift, Texas. She announced that she was taking up the hunger strike to support the demands of the Bhopal survivors.
Diane Wilson is an extraordinary woman. Mother and housewife, she is also a fourth-generation fisherman, and captain of her own shrimp boat. She used to make a quiet living from shrimping until she started seeing dead dolphins and pelicans. When the shrimp started coming up dead, she realised it was time to act.
Earlier, Diane said: “My life as a fisherwoman has taught me one thing, that there are no seas with lines and divisions. So similarly if there is a border that separates me as an American from the anguish and sorrow of my
sisters and brothers in Bhopal and their fight for justice, then that line is a false and lying one. All the great religions teach that we are one. One woman’s pain is a pain to all. An injustice to one is an injustice to all. Bhopal is a symbol of the unfinished business of justice that lies before all mankind and the struggle should never be abandoned.”
Diane intends to remain fasting, outside of the Dow plant, for the full 30 day period after which she will be replaced by another campaigner willing to make a similar sacrifice in solidarity with the Bhopal survivors.
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