Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bhopal Women Need Your Support

Our sister/friend, Diane Wilson, co-founder of Code Pink, just got out
of a Texas prison last Fall from a protest and fast she undertook
because she was concerned about the plight of the people of Bhopal. As
we march and petition for peace and justice here in this country,
let's take a moment to act in solidarity with our sisters and
brothers who have endured over 30 years of hell because of corporate
greed and irresponsibility Below are excerpts of a recent email from
Students for Bhopal, and you can go to their URL and find out more if
you need to. Please use their offered phone card and call if you can,
but if you wnat to do something quickly, send a free fax.



The last few days have been critical ones for the Bhopal campaign.
Those of you following the flurry of emails already know that the
cause couldn't be more important: the survival of tens of thousands of
Carbide's gas and water-contamination victims (more background at
http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/RightToLive.htm). Rather than follow
through on their promises and grant our demands (including access to
poison-free drinking water & competent medical care) the State
Government of Madhya Pradesh has instead violently arrested the hunger
strikers on their thirteenth day of fasting in an attempt to break our
campaign. It won't succeed. Hundreds of angry phone calls from
compassionate supporters around the world have deluged the government
at every level in the past 24 hours, and massive mobilizations are
taking place on the ground in Bhopal. Although the situation is still
in flux, I wanted to send you all the latest news and thank you for
the actions you've already taken, which continue to put the state
government under greater pressure than they've ever faced from our
campaign before.

The Status
Pragya writes from Bhopal: The five hunger strikers are currently
sitting on the cold stone floor on the third story of Hamidia
Hospital. They are surrounded by the Superintendent, Chief
Superintendent, and other police personnel that have taken over the
whole floor. Imagine, being taken to a hospital by force at seven in
the morning, and after thirteen days of fasting, not even getting a
bench to sit on. The Collector, who gave the orders for the arrest in
the first place, now permitted a few people to meet the hunger
strikers. When these four people went to the hospital, the police told
them they could not meet the fasters. Must be a "communication gap."

What can we do at this crucial time? Call, call,call! The police have
to know that they are not going to get away with what they did, and we
are the ones who have to tell them that- again and again until they
start ripping their hair out of its follicles. A few hours ago, an
email urging people to call the hospital was sent out, so that
supporters, media, and lawyers could meet the fasters. YOUR CALLS
WORKED! The hunger strikers' lawyer is on his way to meet them this
very moment. Continue pouring on the pressure - it is highly
effective. Please continue to let us know. The Bhopalis are ever
grateful for the support you all are providing.

One of the original six hunger strikers is still at large and in
hiding. Meanwhile other survivors have converged on the Tinshed and
are themselves taking up the hunger strike, in case the government
decides to force-feed the original hunger strikers. This is something
that the government has been afraid to attempt thus far (probably
because of your outraged phone calls) but are likely to try.

Shalini writes from Bhopal: The sense that we are getting here is that
these calls are working amazingly well. the collector just tried
(amidst all your calls..) to lure survivors to break the fast by
promising to arrange a meeting with CM tomorrow. Of course the hunger
strikers didn't agree with this. they told the collector clearly, "we
would break the fast only when we meet the CM and depending upon the
result of the meeting" the Collector walked out of the hospital all
red and fuming!!!

Our friends in the hospital know that you are making the calls for
them and it is this support that is giving them more strength to
continue to be as determined as ever. so friends, please continue
calling, these calls are making a huge difference in those closed
walls which we call 'control room'


Take Action
Demand the immediate and unconditional release of the Bhopalis.

1. Call as many of the following numbers as you can. If you don't have
an international calling card, you can use ours: dial 1-800-887-2991,
PIN 7087821888, security code 463. Don't be surprised if you have
trouble getting through, or if you're rudely hung up on. Some of these
people are turning off their phones temporarily to avoid your phone
calls, and others will treat you rudely in the hopes that you do not
call again. This is because your calls are effective, and they've
already let everyone in the MP government know that the world is
watching. Please continue to call as frequently and as often as you can.

Call:
(if calling from the United States, please preface your calls with 011)

The Collector, B.K. Mishra:
+91-94251 85550

Anurag Jain, Personal Secretary of the Chief Minister:
+91-94250-20285

Call M.M. Upadhyay, Secretary, Bhopal Gas Relief
+91 94250 11863
+91 755 2441620

Superintendent of Police, Anant Kumar Singh:
+91 94251 76688

Additional Superintendent of Police, Dr. G.K. Pathak:
+91 94253 02001

Additional District Magistrate Mr. Ojha:
+91 94250 19501

CSP Dharamvir Singh Yadav:
+91 94253 04000

Sub Divisional Magistrate: HK Sharma:
+91 94250 04767

Women's Police Station:
+91 755 2443860

Shyamala Hills Police Station:
+91 755 2661477

Principal Secretary, Mr. Iqbal Singh:
+91 755 2441314

Call The Chief Minister, Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan
+91 755 2442231 (Home)
+91 755 2441751 (home)
+91 755 2442255
+91 755 2442241

Call Saxena, CM's Personal Assistant
+91 755 9425171925

Call MM Upathiya, Minister of Health
+91 755 94250-11863 (mobile)

The Chief Secretary, R.C. Sahini:
+91-9425-151-652 (mobile)
+91 755- 2441848
+91 755 2441351 (Personal Assistant/home)

2. Send a FREE FAX (if you haven't already) and urge your friends,
family, and neighbors to do the same:
http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/FaxAction07/fax_action.php.

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