Hundreds of NYC Students 'Die' on 25th Anniversary of Bhopal Chemical Disaster, Massive Photogenic 'Human Installation' in Union Square

For Immediate Release

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal and The Yes Men
Contact: 

Aquene Freechild: 617-378-2579; aquene@gmail.com
Dwai Banerjee: 917-388-5210; dwaibanerjee@gmail.com
Andy Bichlbaum: 646.467.4939; press@theyesmen.org

Hundreds of NYC Students 'Die' on 25th Anniversary of Bhopal Chemical Disaster, Massive Photogenic 'Human Installation' in Union Square

NEW YORK - Today hundreds of students in NYC joined protests around the
world demanding accountability from Dow Chemical Company and the Indian
government. Several hundred students from Parsons the New School, as
part of an all freshman "Laboratory" class, used their bodies in a
massive public installation spelling out the words D-O-W in Union
Square North. Other participants held up placards spelling out, "Clean
Up Bhopal," in the background.

"It's no surprise that hundreds of New School students volunteered
to die today to call out the continued death and devastation in Bhopal
that Dow Chemical refuses to take responsibility for," said Andy
Bichlbaum of the Yes Men, also a faculty member at the school, whose
lecture to the freshman class had precipitated the action. "It's great
to see students continuing the feisty legacy of the New School."

To this day Dow has refused to face trial in India, both civil and
criminal (the company is named in a criminal case for harboring a
fugitive, former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson).

"We're here
to remind people in New York and elsewhere that Bhopalis continue to
die from the after-effects of that disaster," said Adriane Corwin, an
organizer with the Bhopal campaign who has lived and worked in Bhopal.
"Children are still drinking water full of toxins and carcinogens.
That's the real Human Element," referring to Dow's pricey PR and
marketing campaign (www.dow.com/hu).

"Dow is acting really douchey," said Rocco Ferrer, a part-time Yes
Man and fashion blogger who helped arrange the "installation" of dead
students. "Clean up your mess already and make Bhopal fabulous."

BACKGROUND

At midnight on December 2, 1984
twenty-seven tons of lethal gases leaked from Union Carbide's pesticide
factory in Bhopal, India, immediately killing 8,000 people and
poisoning thousands of others. Another 15,000 are estimated to have
died as a result of the gas exposure since then, and today at least
150,000 people, including children born to parents who survived the
disaster, are suffering from exposure-related health effects such as
cancer, neurological damage, chaotic menstrual cycles and mental
illness. A recent study by the Bhopal Medical Appeal found some toxics
in the groundwater at up to 2,400 times higher than World Health
Organization and U.S. EPA guidelines.

Dow Chemical, which bought Union Carbide in 1999, insists that it
has no responsibility for toxic legacy. Former Union Carbide executive
Warren Anderson, indicted for manslaughter in India, lives freely in
Long Island. The 25th anniversary of the largest industrial disaster in
history highlights the continuing fight for justice and reparations for
the people of Bhopal, and the wanton lack of corporate accountability
by Dow Chemical Company. Commemorative events, protests and die-ins are
taking place worldwide today to coincide with the 25th anniversary.

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal demands the following:

   
* Dow must present subsidiary, Union Carbide, in court to face trial in
the ongoing criminal proceedings against them in India.

    * Dow must give the Indian government their requested $23
million deposit now to start cleaning up Bhopal and prevent further
spread of the toxins.

    * The Indian Government needs to
fulfill its August 2008 promise to establish an "empowered commission"
addressing the health, environmental, and economic issues in Bhopal.

    * The Indian Government needs to fulfill its promise to build
pipelines to bring clean water to the communities that have been
drinking, eating, and washing with contaminated water for 25 years. 
Construction was started, but has been stalled, and needs to be
completed urgently.

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