Dear Trade Unionist,
We’d like to introduce ourselves – the newly formed Trade Union Friends of Bhopal (Bhopal Saathi) – and ask you to help us in our aims of raising awareness and building solidarity with the survivors of the Bhopal disaster in their fight for justice.
We’re providing a briefing about the campaign for global health, safety and environmental justice, which takes its lead and inspiration from the survivors of the Bhopal disaster, one of the worst human-made catastrophes in history. You’ll see that all these years on, it is an ongoing disaster in terms of health, environment and justice – corporate crime at its worst. It is written as a 5-6 minute speech, and our hope is that you can use this during Workers’ Memorial Day events, either as written or using its content in any way you wish. We’ve also included below a bullet-point summary of the main points.
Click on this link to access: speech_iwmd18
We would love you to take pictures and tweet them or put them on Facebook, including the hashtags #IWMD18 #Justice4Bhopal. If you’ve space, do mention @tufriendsbhopal and follow or “like” us. If you don’t want to use pictures of people – perhaps a picture of a bunch of flowers laid at the memorial site with the hashtags written beside is a simple idea.
Looking forward, we will be in touch again to ask you to consider also marking the anniversary of the disaster (3rd December). If your plans for 28th April are too advanced, at this late stage to be able to incorporate this, the anniversary would also offer another opportunity.
It would be great to hear from you if you have any suggestions for us, would like to get involved or just to know more. Our various contact details are below – do check them out. Do please visit our new website and let us know what you think. It is in development but a referenced version of the talk and a slightly extended version as a blog will be available shortly.
Yours in solidarity.
Trade Union Friends of Bhopal (Bhopal Saathi)
Contact details: Sara Marsden, TUFB Coordinator
Phone: 07512-227924 Email: TUFriendsBhopal@gmail.com
Twitter: @TUFriendsBhopal Facebook: www.facebook.com/TUFriendsBhopal/Website: tufriendsbhopal.wordpress.com
Key points of the attached speech
- On the night of 2-3 December 1984, following a release of a toxic gas in a poor, crowded Indian city, 7-10,000 people died in the first 3 days (figures are disputed) and 100s of 1000s suffer life-long disabling conditions.
- Toxic waste continues to leak from the site and spread, contamination now reaching the soil and drinking water of over 40 communities.
- There has still not been adequate justice – either criminal or civil – and no one has taken responsibility for cleaning up the site to a satisfactory standard.
- The current owners of Union Carbide, responsible for the factory at the time of the leak, are monolith chemical company Dow-DuPont. They plan to break Union Carbide up in the next 12months, potentially putting it out of reach of justice.
- This disaster could have been avoided. Trade unions at the factory, and local community campaigners, had been highlighting the safety risks for years and had been met by denial and intimidation from the company.
- If Dow-DuPont escape accountability, this will send a message to other global corporations that they can disregard life and environment in their operations, in particular in poor communities and countries.
- We need to join the courageous fight of the survivors of Bhopal for justice for all victims of toxic globalisation and for a system of global regulation that places protection of human life and environment at its centre.