Beyond sleep and wakefulness
Suspended in nightmare, a poisonous playground leaks endless terror
Through air, ground and water
Into lungs and veins and wombs,
Tortured nerves and mothers’ breasts.
And in Bhopal the births continue:
Damaged spines, damaged brains,
Cleft lips, fused fingers, growth disorders.
No limbs, no palates, no eyes
Child after child after child.
Over 23 years the children of Bhopal have borne the relentless brutality
Of greed and corruption, of silence, apathy, indifference.
On the 9th of June 2008 they tasted a new kind of brutality.
A group of women and children
Damaged by the poisons leaked through air and water
Went peacefully to protest:
23 years of inaction
23 years of broken promises
23 years of justice denied.
Covered in shrouds, white and still as death, they lay before the Prime Minister’s doorstep to remind him of the thousands who have died, and that more are dying day by day as the poisons continue to flow and his Government continues to stop its ears, blindfold itself against justice and keep its silence while Dow Chemical goes unpunished for all its crimes.
Within minutes the police arrived armed and instruction from above. Lying outside the Prime Minister’s office in peaceful protest is a breach of security far more serious than letting a derelict factory bursting with poisons stand for 23 years as it destroys generations of lives.
Along with adults, the children were brutalised and jailed.
They said rip their clothes off. Strip each one of them and drag them to jail.
There was a 6-year-old girl in our group, Nagma. They hit her too.
They said, throw these dogs into jail, put the bastards away. These Bhopalis are back again.
They dragged us way from there, through us into vans and brought us to jail.
We hadn’t committed any crime, yet they arrested us.
We demonstrated before the Prime Minister’s office, so that he knows we’re still here, people continue to die in Bhopal. If you don’t know the facts, if you aren’t aware of what is happening then at least hear us, know what our demands are, learn about how many are dying in Bhopal.
When those sworn to protect the people themselves then become the oppressors it is then for us to speak up.
Go to www.bhopal.org and make yourself heard.