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Bhopal Activists Light Up Boston Through Peaceful Vigils And Dances

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Activists demanding justice for victims of the Bhopal gas disaster held a peaceful candle-light vigil outside Park street station at Boston Commons on Wednesday, June 27th, 2012.

This protest was part of a global solidarity movement with similar events happening in India, the UK and Canada marking one month before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Activists were appealing to the public to demand that Dow Chemicals be dropped as a sponsor for the International Olympics unless they own up liabilities in Bhopal (India), Michigan, Vietnam, Nicaragua and other places in the world. Here is a video from the candle-light vigil for Bhopal: Boston Commons vigil

The event was organized by the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB), a group working with members of the South Asian and human rights community to provide justice to the survivors of the Bhopal Chemical Disaster. Besides trying to engender support for the cause and work towards providing justice, ICJB is trying to build a movement that tries to ensure that there are No More Bhopals as a result of gross negligence and lack of corporate responsibility anywhere in the world. 

In December 1984, the city of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, India suffered the world’s worst industrial disaster. A chemical plant belonging to Union Carbide (now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical) released 40 tons of methyl isocyanate, a highly toxic chemical, immediately killing 4,000 people and affecting over 500,000 residents of the area. Till now, over 25,000 people have died as a result of the disaster, and thousands of Bhopalis are suffering from illnesses caused by exposure and water contamination due to the toxic waste left behind. On average, one person dies every day from its effects. Meanwhile, Indian authorities have failed to bring Union Carbide and Dow chemicals to account. Moreover, despite the repeated promises to clean up the toxic waste, it remains on site, poisoning the water, the land, and spreading its tentacles every passing day. 

Ironically, Dow Chemicals is an official sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games whose motto this year is Sustainability and Environmental Integrity. Activists across the world have been appealing to the International Olympics Committee to drop Dow as a partner.

Here in the Boston area, activists have organized various vigils, movie screenings and public dance performances in the past 5 months to highlight this issue. In mid-April 2012, activists protesting peacefully against Dow Chemical treated Bostonians to a series of beautiful and energizing dances. A video of these dance performances can be found here: Bhopal Flashmob Dance

To sign a petition to appeal to the Olympics committee to drop Dow as a partner:



To learn more about ICJB : http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/ICJBBoston

Contact: icjb.us.ab@gmail.com

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