On 27 February 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails revealed, amongst other things, that Dow Chemical were using Stratfor to spy on the Bhopal justice campaign and on us, the Bhopal Medical Appeal. In fact, we had long suspected that we were being subjected to some kind of surveillance but this was the first time we ever had concrete proof. The unexpected bonus was that, thanks to the timing of the revelations, our campaign opposing Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the London Olympics was given an enormous global boost.
Jeremy Hamond was amongst those who took a massive personal risk to reveal this information and In November 2012, after being held for eight months without trial, he was denied bail and warned that he could face life imprisonment for the Stratfor leaks. After pleading guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, he was sentenced on November 15, 2013, to the maximum of ten years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
Below is a statement of solidarity from Jeremy Hammond from his prison cell at FCI Manchester, Kentucky.
MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY WITH BHOPAL SURVIVORS:
Rebel greetings! I want to voice full support for the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster in their struggle for justice against Dow, a multinational corporation that continues to do everything they can to avoid taking responsibility.
Two years ago I hacked the intelligence company Stratfor and handed over all of their private email correspondence to WikiLeaks for publishing. Amongst the revelations was proof that Dow hired Stratfor to monitor the activities of Bhopal survivor activist groups.
To add further insult to injury, Dow is now suing dozens of these activist groups for 25 million Indian rupees!
This shows how profiteering multinational corporations like Dow will abuse the courts and influence international conventions so that they can continue to attack worker conditions, fair wages and environmental regulations. The UN, of which Dow sits as a Foundation member, has turned a blind eye to this human rights disaster for 30 years.
Justice will not be found in their courts so we must bring it to them in the streets. Dow’s recent tactics of desperation shows how they are worried that these activists are succeeding in bringing attention to their crimes. We must continue to expose and confront Dow!