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Author Topic: Dow Chemical and the Olympics  (Read 1911 times)
m.lapin
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« on: January 15, 2012, 12:09:10 PM »

Bob Boldt sent me this article:

http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/16162-bhopal.html

This is Bob Boldt's response:

"In response to an essay about Dow and the Olympics, I responded:

"The issue of Dow's and Monsanto's responsibility for the claims of safety and minimal ecological impact of the Agent Orange family of herbicides continues to place them in the category of criminal corporations and hence not a suitable sponsor for even a cock fight (well maybe a cock fight, but that's all). A little known secret is that the US has not paid reparations to Vietnam for the war and has removed little of the toxic residue from the soil that continues to damage the gentle people of that country. The US government should be held responsible for these liabilities and Dow and Monsanto should help in the clean up of their toxins."


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bobrandom44
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 09:00:20 AM »

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mhbrownstein
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 06:46:49 AM »

Here’s a message from Sanjay Verma, a Bhopal resident-turned-activist whose life and family were irrevocably changed due to the Bhopal disaster in India.

Dear Michael,

My name is Sanjay Verma and I grew up in Bhopal, India. I was six months old when an explosion at a chemical factory across from my neighbourhood leaked 40 tons of the potent neurotoxin methyl isocyanate. My sister saved my life by bundling me up and fleeing from our home into the panicked streets of Bhopal. My sister and 13 year-old brother survived, but my parents and five of my siblings died that night.

My sister and I lived in an orphanage for 7 years. Sunil, our eldest brother, took two jobs just to take care of us and keep us with him. Tragically, he suffered terrible mental health issues and, after several attempts at taking his life, he committed suicide in 2006. He was found hanged, wearing a T-shirt with the slogan- 'No More Bhopals'.
I have dedicated my life to fighting for justice for my community, and holding Dow responsible for the Bhopal disaster.

Already, 50,000 SumOfUs.org members have signed petitions to the London Olympics Organisers denouncing Dow's sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The London Olympic Organisers are feeling the pressure and have agreed to meet with victims and activists.
However, they are still keeping Dow as a sponsor. Today, on the 10,000th day since the Bhopal disaster, I have travelled from India to the UK to tell Lord Coe in person that we cannot stand Dow’s Olympic sponsorship. Will you join me?

Will you send a message to Lord Sebastian Coe at London Olympics and tell him to drop Dow as a sponsor?
After all my family and community went through -- and for the many people who continue to suffer to this day -- I have devoted my life to seeing that Dow answers for the Bhopal disaster and that my home is cleaned up so that innocent people no longer have to suffer.

I need your help to make sure the London Olympic organisers hear our story, and know that we will not stand for Dow's Olympic sponsorship.

Will you send a message to the London Olympic Organisers to tell them my community’s story?

If enough of us tell the London Olympic Organisers that we won't stand for this partnership, we can help show the Olympics the true meaning of the Olympics -- global unity, not backroom deals and corporate sponsorships.
Thanks for helping ensure that those behind the Bhopal disaster pay for the damages wrought, and for helping bring justice to my community,

--Sanjay

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mhbrownstein
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 06:49:51 AM »

Here’s a message from Sanjay Verma, a Bhopal resident-turned-activist whose life and family were irrevocably changed due to the Bhopal disaster in India.

FAQ

What happened in Bhopal?

On December 2-3, 1984, as the people of the central Indian town of Bhopal slept, an explosion caused over 40 tons of a deadly toxic gas, methyl isocyanate (MIC), and other gases to escape from the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant. The company executives could have warned the public, but instead they chose not to sound the emergency alarm bell in town.

The event occurred in the early hours of the morning of Dec 3rd 1984, at approximately 12:30 a.m. By 2am, most of the MIC had been dispersed over an area of 25 miles (40km), and the first deaths were reported to the police by 3am. By morning, there had been 1,000 reported deaths, some as far as 5 miles (8 km) from the plant. 90,000 patients were seen in local hospitals and clinics within the first 24 hours, and in total, about 200,000 people suffered acute effects of the leak.

The preventable Bhopal disaster has claimed over 20,000 lives, and it is not over yet because members of the community continue to suffer from chronic health problems, cancer and birth defects.

Now, despite loud protests by the Indian Olympic delegation, Dow has signed a controversial sponsorship deal with the Olympics expected to make Dow $1 billion. With Dow counting on that revenue, we have the best chance in years for them to finally assume responsibility and clean up the disaster. We are finally hitting the company where it hurts: its bottom line.

How has Dow responded?

Dow claims that it is not responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy in any way. Despite that, they hired the same public relations firm that worked to tell people tobacco didn’t cause cancer, and that Foxconn hired to repair its public image around working conditions in Apple factories in China.

Union Carbide paid $470 million in compensation to existing victims in 1989, amounting to less than $500 per victim whether they were blinded by the gas, developed terminal cancer from exposure, or suffered debilitating birth defects. To date, neither Union Carbide nor Dow has paid to clean up the site, and they have refused to even decommission the factory after the accident.

Why is Dow responsible for the situation?

No one disputes the fact that Dow bought Union Carbide after the disaster occurred. But when Dow purchased Union Carbide, it took on liability for the Bhopal tragedy. It would be terribly convenient for Dow and other massive corporations if the slate was wiped clean when a company was purchased. But Dow didn’t just buy the profit sheet, the shares and the expertise from Union Carbide. They also bought their legacy, the environmental tragedy of Bhopal and the responsibility for it. Dow must ensure that the site is cleaned up and the victims finally get true justice and proper compensation. If a company could escape liability for its malpractices by arranging a merger or takeover, then companies would be able to abuse human rights and damage the environment with impunity.
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joejoe
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 09:18:28 AM »

News on this topic:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/9176186/London-2012-Olympics-Lord-Coe-agrees-to-talks-with-Dow-Chemical-protesters.html

http://dropdownow.org/2012/04/03/locog-ioc-demo-30-march/

http://dropdownow.org/2012/04/03/locog-ioc-demo-30-march/

http://www.bhopal.org/2012/04/bhopal-activists-tell-locog-to-‘drop-dow-now’-as-they-stage-die-in-and-petition-hand-in/
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sarahjean
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 05:22:54 AM »

Thanks, Joejoe--I repasted this link because at the bottom of it, we can sign the petition to keep Dow Chemical from sponsoring the Olympics:

http://www.bhopal.org/2012/04/bhopal-activists-tell-locog-to-%e2%80%98drop-dow-now%e2%80%99-as-they-stage-die-in-and-petition-hand-in/
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kayjay
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 08:01:46 PM »

Watch this:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-5-1999/headlines---union-carbide---dow---the-chemical-brothers
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susan
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 12:19:09 PM »

The hallmark of Union Carbide's leadership in the chemical industry is a sustained tradition of technological innovation. In 1920 our researchers developed an economical way to make ethylene from natural gas, giving birth to the modern petrochemicals industry. A significant day in Union Carbide’s recent history was August 4, 1999, when it was announced that Union Carbide would become a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company ("TDCC") as part of a transaction valued at $11.6 billion. This transaction closed on February 6, 2001. Since Union Carbide's acquisition by TDCC, Union Carbide sells most of the products it manufactures to TDCC and is an important part of the Dow family of companies.

Dow Chemicals, which bought Union Carbide in 2001, denies it purchased any liability for the disaster when it bought the company. Dow insists it is not responsible for the cleanup of the plant and site, which still contains thousands of tons of toxic chemicals and sits on land owned by the Madhya Pradesh state government

http://www.khalnayak.in/2011/12/bhopal-wrost-indrustrial-disaster-of.html
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susan
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 12:21:00 PM »

The Cause Behind

http://www.khalnayak.in/2011/12/bhopal-wrost-indrustrial-disaster-of.html

The pesticide factory was built in the midst of densely populated settlements. UCIL chose to store and produce MIC, one of the most deadly chemicals (permitted exposure levels in USA and Britain are 0.02 parts per million), in an area where nearly 120,000 people lived. WHY

Even The MIC plant was not designed to handle a runaway reaction. When the uncontrolled reaction started, MIC was flowing through the scrubber at more than 200 times its designed capacity. Why MIC in the tank was filled to 87% of its capacity while the maximum permissible was 50%.

MIC was not stored at zero degrees centigrade as prescribed and the refrigeration and cooling systems had been shut down five months before the disaster, as part of UCC's global economy drive.

The indicators in the MIC tank were defective.

The health of plant before disaster is not well as there are lots of death and injury to many. Since 1980

In December 1981, plant operator Mohammed Ashraf was killed by a phosgene gas leak. And Two other workers also were injured.
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sarahjean
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 12:25:09 PM »

Watch thios video--and then see why I want to boycott Dow Chemical!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz73rcdSG80
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 12:27:20 PM by sarahjean » Logged
glorias
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 02:33:22 PM »

On December 3, 2004, the twentieth anniversary of the disaster, a man claiming to be a Dow representative named Jude Finisterra was interviewed on BBC World News. He claimed that the company had agreed to clean up the site and compensate those harmed in the incident, by liquidating Union Carbide for $12 billion USD.

http://www.khalnayak.in/2011/12/bhopal-wrost-indrustrial-disaster-of.html

This is me: Nothing happened. Dow did nothing and continues to do nothing. Meanwhile (from the same source):

The Disasters Continues
It is estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people have permanent injuries. Reported symptoms are eye problems, respiratory difficulties, immune and neurological disorders, cardiac failure secondary to lung injury, female reproductive difficulties and birth defects among children born to affected women. The Indian Government and UCC deny permanent injuries were caused by MIC or the other gases.

the poison still lingers. Mick Brown travelled to India to meet the victims of the world’s worst industrial accident who have not given up the fight for compensation, justice and their lives.

A US court says it could order Dow Chemicals to clean soil and ground water in the abandoned factory site if the Indian government provides a no objection certificate. The Indian government forwards the certificate to the United States.

The US rejects India’s request for extradition of Anderson saying the request does not “meet requirements of certain provisions” of the bilateral extradition treaty.

India’s Supreme Court orders the Central Bank to pay out more than 15 billion rupees, part of the original $ 470 million received as compensation kept in the account since 1992.



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donnab
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2012, 05:30:01 PM »

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/02/dow-chemical-and-the-olympic-movement/

That, it may also be assumed, as Dow contends, that “Dow did not have any ownership stake in the Union Carbide until 16 years after the accident and 12 years after the $470 million compensation agreement was approved by the Indian Supreme Court”.  However, much before Dow had decided to own UCC, the truth was that Dow was well aware of the following:

(i)  That criminal proceedings against UCC had been revived vide Judgment of the Supreme Court of India dated 03.10.1991 in Civil Appeals Nos.3187-3188 of 1988;

(ii)  That, after the then Chairman of UCC, Warren Anderson (accused No.1); UCC (accused No.10); and UCE, Hong Kong (accused No.11) had failed to appear in the criminal case (R.T.No.2792 of 1987), the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Bhopal, on 07.12.1991 had issued a proclamation ordering accused Nos.1, 10, and 11 to be present before the Court on 01.02.1992;

(iii)  That the said proclamation that was issued by the CJM, Bhopal, on 07.12.1991 ordering accused No.1 to be present before the Court on 01.02.1992 was published in The Washington Post on 01.01.1992;

(iv)  That the CJM, Bhopal, vide Order dated 01.02.1992 had proclaimed accused Nos.1, 10 and 11 (i.e., Warren Anderson, UCC and UCE) as absconders for non-appearance in the criminal case;

(v)   That the proclamation of the CJM, Bhopal, dated 01.02.1992 declaring UCC (USA) as absconder and ordering UCC’s authorized representative to be present in Court on 27.03.1992 was published in The Washington Post on 21.02.1992;


(vi)                That on 27.03.1992, the CJM, Bhopal, issued non-bailable warrant of arrest against accused No.1 and ordered the Government of India to seek extradition of Anderson from the U.S. Acceding to the request of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), the CJM postponed attachment of UCC’s properties in India till the next hearing.

(vii)  That on 29.04.1992, the CJM, Bhopal, attached the properties of UCC in India for non-appearance in the said criminal case in response to the applications filed by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), BGPMUS, BGPSSS and BGIA (Bhopal Group for Information and Action).

(viii)  That the criminal case against accused Nos.1, 10 and 11 (i.e., Warren Anderson, UCC and UCE) is currently pending as Miscellaneous Judicial Case (MJC) No.91 of 1992 before the Court of the CJM, Bhopal, since the said accused are continuing to abscond from the Court.

In other words, at the time when Dow bought UCC and UCC became a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow on 06.02.2001, Dow was very well aware that UCC was a proclaimed offender and a fugitive, which was absconding from justice and from the Court of the CJM, Bhopal. By buying UCC, Dow had bought not only the assets of UCC but also the liabilities of UCC as well since liabilities of a company cannot be wished away while buying the assets. Thus, the plain truth is that, by acquiring UCC (a fugitive company), Dow has itself become a fugitive company in the eyes of the law.

Therefore, it is amply evident that Dow had consciously concealed the facts of the case from the IOC and the LOCOG.
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donnab
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 05:35:27 PM »

 Under the circumstances, it is even more necessary to refer to the Olympic Charter and to examine whether the laudatory principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter are compatible with the decision of the IOC to engage Dow as one of the sponsors of the Olympic Games. According to the 6th‘Fundamental Principle of Olympism’ as enshrined in the Olympic Charter:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.” [8]

Considering that “dioxin” was one of the most toxic substance known to humans, Dow was clearly guilty of practicing racial discrimination against Vietnam by shipping to Vietnam stocks of “Agent Orange” with dioxin content far above the “safe” limit as compared to the stock of “Agent Orange” that was produced for consumption within the United States. It appears that “in domestic preparations it [dioxin] is present in much lower concentrations, 0.05 ppm (parts per million), as opposed to peaks of 50 ppm in stock shipped to Vietnam. Therefore, dioxin contamination of Agent Orange was up to 1,000 times higher than in domestic herbicides” [9]

Similarly, Dow is guilty of condoning acts of racial discrimination by acquiring UCC, which is guilty of practicing racial discrimination against the people of India. The root cause of the Bhopal disaster was the installation of sub-standard safety systems and gross violation of operating procedures at UCC’s Bhopal plant; whereas, at its parent plant in West Virginia (USA), UCC had installed superior safety systems and had followed strict operating procedures there. Not only were the safety systems at UCC’s Bhopal plant – such as the refrigeration system and the scrubber –  totally under-designed in terms of the installed capacity of the Methyl-isocyanate (MIC) unit but also even those safety systems were shut-off by UCC as a cost-cutting measure well before the disaster in gross violation of the strict instructions in the “Operating Manuals”. Thereby, MIC, which is a highly toxic and reactive chemical and which had to be stored and used under stringent safety conditions, was left exposed without the necessary safeguards that literally paved the way for the disaster. On the other hand, the safety systems at UCC’s West Virginia plant not only were designed for “total containment” (in case of an accident) in terms of the installed capacity of the MIC unit but the safety systems there were kept in operation mode at all times. In addition, while UCC’s West Virginia plant had standby safety systems as well, UCC’s Bhopal plant had none. This instance is a classic case of adoption of double standards in installation and operation of safety systems by UCC in a Third World country. UCC, which had consciously adopted discriminatory safety policies, was subsequently bought by Dow with the full knowledge that criminal cases were pending against UCC for causing the Bhopal disaster. Therefore, the IOC is completely at fault for acting contrary to the said ‘Fundamental Principles of Olympism’ by associating the Olympic Movement with a company, which is guilty of practicing and condoning racial discrimination against the people of Vietnam and India.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/02/dow-chemical-and-the-olympic-movement/ 
 
 
 
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susan
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 08:17:30 PM »

Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks today began publishing more than five million confidential emails from US-based intelligence firm Stratfor, the anti-secrecy group said.

The messages, which date from between July 2004 and December 2011, will reveal Stratfor's "web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods," claimed a WikiLeaks press release.

"The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients," added the press release.

The messages show that Dow Chemicals used Stratfor to monitor and analyse the online activities of activists seeking redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal.

The online organisation claims to have proof of the firm's confidential links to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co and Lockheed Martin and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dow-Chemicals-appointed-Stratfor-to-spy-on-Bhopal-activists-WikiLeaks/articleshow/12058565.cms
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susan
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2012, 08:20:14 PM »

1) On Monday, WikiLeaks began releasing on its website more than five million emails from Stratfor, a US-based global security analysis company that Reuters says has been likened to a shadow CIA.

2) The messages, which date from between July 2004 and December 2011, allegedly show that Dow Chemicals used Stratfor to monitor the online activities of activists in Bhopal, campaigning against the company for the 1984 Union Carbide/Dow Chemical gas disaster. WikiLeaks claims that Stratfor provided to Dow analysis of daily developments in court hearings in India; it also allegedly shared travel plans and activities of campaigners pushing for action against Dow. "We are angry and shocked to know we were being monitored...not right to spy on us," activists in Bhopal said.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/new-wikileaks-and-the-bhopal-link-top-10-facts-180401
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