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Panel discussion - Bhopal: 25 Years of Struggle for Environmental Justice

Saturday May 30th, 2009, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Communications 120, Stevens Way E, Seattle, WA
cost: Free

Corporate Crime, Environmental Injustice and Toxic Trespass: Lessons from the 1984 Union Carbide Gas disaster in Bhopal, India:-

Meet activists from the longest standing campaign against corporate crime and environmental injustice!

In Bhopal, India, where in 1984, a poisonous gas leak from Union Carbide's pesticide factory wiped out more than 8,000 people, and left 150,000 people with chronic injuries. In its hurry to escape to the United States, Union Carbide left behind more than 10,000 tons of toxic wastes that have since seeped into the groundwater. More than 30,000 people have been exposed to the poisons in the groundwater. Bhopal's Generation Next is suffering both from the hand-me-down effects of the toxic gases, and the contamination in the water. The wastes still remain where they were abandoned. Union Carbide has reneged on its promise to face trial in India. The United States has done nothing to uphold the rule of law.

We are fighting to ensure that:

  • Dow Chemical and its subsidiary Union Carbide pay for full and total clean-up of the toxic wastes and the groundwater.
  • Union Carbide respects the laws of India and returns to India to face trial. It was declared a fugitive from justice by Indian courts in 1992, and has since taken refuge in the U.S.;
  • Another disaster like the Bhopal disaster does not happen anywhere else in the world;
  • Corporations and Government are beholden to people, and the environment and the rights of future generations of life on this planet is not compromised for any reason.

Safreen “Rafat” Khan: A 16-year old Safreen ‘Rafat’ Khan belongs to a family of six members who live behind the Union Carbide factory. Her mother was exposed to the gas in 1984. Safreen and her family continue to live in the area and consume poisoned water daily. Safreen and her sister Yasmin were the youngest members of the team of 50 survivors who walked 500 miles from Bhopal to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister in February last year. Safreen is a key organizer of the newly formed campaign group -- Children Against Dow-Carbide -- and believes that Carbide's toxic legacy must be ended before it takes its toll on yet another unsuspecting generation.

Satinath ‘Sathyu’ Sarangi : He is a metallurgical engineer turned activist who arrived in Bhopal a day after the disaster and stayed on to become a key figure in the struggle for justice in Bhopal. He is a founding trustee of the Sambhavna Clinic, a non-profit clinic dedicated to the holistic treatment of gas-affected persons in Bhopal. As the founder of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, Sathyu has been involved with relief, research and publication of studies on the health impacts of the ongoing disaster on the residents of Bhopal.

Dr. Sheela Satyanarayana: Asst Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Univ. of Washington. An accomplished physician with expertise in pediatric environmental health, Dr. Satyanarayana has been a forceful voice of science in advocating for more research into the effects of toxic chemicals, including Bisphenol A and phthalates.

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) is a worldwide coalition of some 20 people's organizations, non-profit groups and individuals who have joined forces to campaign for justice — legal and economic — for the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide toxic gas leak in Bhopal, India — the world's worst industrial disaster.

More details about the disaster, its aftermath and effects on Bhopal's Generation Next are available at:
1.What happened in Bhopal: .

2.Beyond the Gas Leak: Union Carbide's Toxic Wastes is Bhopal's Secret Disaster

3.Health Issues: With Carbide refusing to divulge relevant information relating to the toxicity of the gases released that night, medical treatment has been arbitr ary. Not only are the victims of that night still suffering, but children born to gas-affected parents after the disaster too seem to carry a disproportionate burden of effects of the toxic gases. Added to this is another route of exposure to people, many of whom are not gas-exposed, through groundwater contaminated by toxic wastes that still lie strewn around Carbide's factory site.

4. “777” – Newsletter of the Bhopal Medical Appeal.

Sponsored by:
Amnesty International PS
Association for India's Development-Seattle chapter
Collaborative on Health and Environment - Washington
South Asia Center, University of Washington
South Asia Students Association (UW)
SouthEast Effective Development
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
Washington Toxics Coalition
WashPIRG (Students - UW)
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Tasveer Girl