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16 June, 2008

National Day of Action and Solidarity for Bhopal

Tuesday, JUNE 17 2008, is National Day of Action and Solidarity for Bhopal. The following is an appeal issued jointly by several civil society organizations in this connection:

Dear Friends,

The survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster and activists have been on a dharna at Jantar Mantar for over 75 days. So far there has been no concrete response from the Prime Minister on their demands. On June 9 in response to a peaceful sit-in at South Block they were arrested and children were abused by the Delhi police. In protest, 5 days ago, nine activists started an indefinite hunger strike. Even till today 23 of the Bhopalis are in Tihar Jail and our attempts to secure bail for them has been met with stiff resistance from the State.

This shameful state of affairs must stop. It is crucial that groups across the country unite in support to up the ante on the Manmohan Singh Government.
In consultation with the Bhopal Groups it has been decided to observe a National Day of Action and Solidarity for Bhopal on 17th June 2008 across the country.
We hope you will endorse this call (pasted below), organise events in your cities, towns, regions and stand in solidarity with Bhopalis.

Also collect as many signatures as possible on the statement to PM (pasted below) so that it can be delivered collectively to PMO after 17th.

We have heard from friends and comrades in Delhi, Bombay, Chennai, Coimbatore, Raipur and some other places who will hold some kind of action there. Let us all join hands now…

In Solidarity
Supporters of Bhopal
Tuesday, June 17 2008

For the past 23 years the Bhopalis have had a set of basic and simple demands; those that should have been met decades ago by any Government that claimed to work for its people. With no response forthcoming women, children and men from Bhopal again walked 800 kms to Delhi to remind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of his promises made in 2006.

PM Singh through his minister Prithvi Raj Chauhan has met the 2 month long dharna with vague and empty promises and the Delhi police has responded to their non-violent protests with beatings and jailing. Several activists are now on an indefinite fast and are being joined by a growing number of people across the country, including several from the USA and UK.

It's time for people across the country to stand up and demand that the Prime Minister respond to their demands which include:
•Setting up of an Empowered Commission on Bhopal and committing the funds required to allow the Commission to function for 30 years for medical, economic, social and environmental rehabilitation.
•Immediate legal action against Dow Chemical and Union Carbide

On June 17, people across the country will show their solidarity with the Bhopal Struggle by holding various actions in cities, towns, taluks and villages.
You can

Hold a protest demonstration/ die-ins/ human chains, candle light vigils, and raise slogans in support of the struggle and against Dow Chemicals

Submit a memorandum to the local or state government protesting against the inaction of the Government of India

Sign the open statement to the Prime Minister and send it to us ( so that it can be collectively handed over to PM

Organise an evening of cultural performances celebrating 23 brave years of struggle by the Bhopalis

Raise financial support for the protestors.

Please visit for more details on the ongoing struggle in Jantar Mantar, Delhi or call Shalini at 9891442037. To donate to the Bhopal struggle send your donation by draft/cheque favouring 'The Other Media', with Bhopal Solidarity written on the envelope (The Other Media, B-5/136, Safdarjang Enclave, New Delhi 29). Contact Bipin at 9868280191 for more details.

In solidarity,
Aasha Parivar, AID India, AISA, Amnesty International, Delhi Solidarity Group, Fishermen Coordination of Tamil Nadu & Pondycherry, INSAF, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, JNUSU, NAPM Delhi, Nadi Ghati Morcha, NCDHR, NFFPFW, PSU, PUCL Rajasthan, People's Union for civil Liberties - Tamil Nadu, Stree Adhikar Sangathan, Students for Bhopal, Tamil Nadu Womens' Collective, Yuva Samvad, CACIM, Corporate Accountability Desk Collective, TN, Delhi Forum, Focus on the Global South, Intercultural Resources, Jagori, The Other Media, Swechcha, Tamil Nadu Environment Council-Dindigul, Human Rights Initiative- Tamil Nadu, Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation, Kanchi Makkal Mandram, Corporate Accountability Desk, Chennai, Speak Out, Salem

and many other alliances, federations, movements and organisations

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