London - A new, beautifully-designed line of bottled water - this time not from the melting Alps, nor from faraway, clean-water-deprived Fiji, but rather from the contaminated ground near the site of the 1984 Bhopal catastrophe - scared Dow Chemical's London management team into hiding today.
Twenty Bhopal activists, including Sathyu Sarangi of the Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, showed up at Dow headquarters near London to find that the entire building had been vacated.
Had they not fled, Dow employees could have read on the bottles' elegant labels:
B'eau-Pal: Our Story
The unique qualities of our water come from 25 years of slow-leaching toxins at the site of the world's largest industrial accident. To this day, Dow Chemical (who bought Union Carbide) has refused to clean up, and whole new generations have been poisoned. For more information, please visit *******www.bhopal****.
The launch of "B'eau-Pal" water came as Bhopal prepares to mark the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal catastrophe, and coincides with the release of an official report by the Sambhavna Trust showing that local groundwater, vegetables, and breast milk are contaminated by toxic quantities of nickel, chromium, mercury, lead, and volatile organic compounds. The report describes how a majority of children in one nearby community are born with serious medical problems traceable to the contamination.
The attractive yet toxic product, developed by the Bhopal Medical Appeal and the Yes Men with pro-bono help from top London creative design firm Kennedy Monk (making-of video here), highlights Dow's continued refusal to take responsibility for the disaster. (Five years ago, the Yes Men impersonated Dow Chemical live on BBC World Television and announced that after 20 years, the company was finally going to clean up its mess in Bhopal. That hoax, which temporarily knocked two billion dollars off Dow's share price, is featured in the Yes Men's new movie, The Yes Men Fix The World, which opens in UK cinemas on August 11.)
Though Dow has consistently refused to clean up the mess in Bhopal, they have taken numerous steps to clean up their image. In a recent press release, for example, Andrew Liveris, Dow's Chairman and CEO, noted that "lack of clean water is the single largest cause of disease in the world and more than 4,500 children die each day because of it." He went on to assert that "Dow is committed to creating safer, more sustainable water supplies for communities around the world."
The Yes Men met Liveris' attempt to greenwash Dow's environmental record with a challenge.
"Since Liveris earns $16,182,544 per year, he could give each of the children who die worldwide for lack of clean water $10 per day to buy Evian, Fiji Water, or Perrier," said Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men. "Or, for vastly less money, he could build them clean-water pipelines, like the ones that Bhopal so badly needs."
Dow's greenwashing comes while Bhopal is experiencing an extremely rare drought, just three years after facing its greatest floods ever. "Even though people are already dying by the hundreds of thousands, and we know that climate change will kill many more, companies like Dow are not being forced to cut back on emissions," said the Sambhavna Clinic's Sathyu Sarangi. "Bhopal should be a lesson to the world - one we must learn before it's too late for all of us."
The Yes Men have elaborate plans to contribute to the movement for meaningful action on climate change, beginning in early September and culminating at the December climate talks in Copenhagen. To contribute financially to these efforts (which of course we can't tell you about), please visit www.theyesmen****/donate/now. And if you live in New York and know how to sew, swim, get arrested, or pretty much anything else, please write to us.
* B'eau-Pal water: *******www.bhopalwater****
* Information on Bhopal water study:
Bhopal Medical Appeal
Contact: Colin Toogood
T: +44 7798 845074
* The Yes Men in the UK:
The aid bout heading to Gaza is named after Rachel Corrie.
Footage from Rachel's interview conducted by Middle East Broadcasting Company on March 14th, 2003, two days before she was murdered by the Israeli Defence Forces.
4 minutes of footage of the MV Rachel Corrie before being boarded by Israeli navy.
If you go to work everyday, 9-5 and then hand over about a quarter of your income to the government every month and you're not angry about the current banking F-up, then you’re either one of the financial or political elite that have been ripping off the world since time immemorial, or you’re a snivelling, subservient little slave and you deserve all the subjugation you get.
In a follow up to our Fishing for Bankers film we decided to have a whip-round outside the offices of RBS for a new charitable organisation called GBFMYC (Give us Back our Fucking Money You Cunts).
Full article here:
REEL NEWS is an activist video collective, set up to publicise and share information on inspirational campaigns and struggles - not just in this country, but across the world. We are doing this through producing a bi-monthly newsreel, made up of a number of videos short enough to use in union and campaign meetings. Reel News is completely independent and non-aligned. We are completely against sectarianism in all its forms, anti-capitalist in outlook, against the anti-trade union laws and in favour of mass collective action in the workplace and on the streets to change society.
Polar bears are dying. As global warming accelerates, the sea ice they depend on for survival is literally melting away. Bears are starving and drowning as they have to swim farther and farther to reach solid ice. Some are even turning to cannibalism in a desperate search for food. Those trapped on land hundreds of miles from the nearest ice often wander near villages in search of food and are shot.
As if that weren’t enough, oil and gas drilling is destroying and polluting their fast-dwindling Arctic habitat.
A third of all polar bears — including all bears in Alaska — will be extinct by 2050 if current trends continue. The rest of the species will be gone by the end of the century.
But it’s not too late to save the polar bear if we join together and take immediate action. The science is clear. We know what needs to be done — we just need to build the political support to do it.
Saving Iceland are a network of people of different nationalities, who do not intend to stand by passively and watch the Icelandic government in league with foreign corporations slowly kill the natural beauty of Iceland. Icelandic environmentalists desperately need outside help to drive away the corporate threat to their island.
More info at *******www.savingiceland****
A white-suited activist from Climate Camp sneaks through the police line outside the RBS Global HQ.
We’ve set up camp right next to the Royal Bank of Scotland Global HQ!
Join us for a week of living sustainably, educating ourselves, taking direct action & building a climate justice movement
- from You and I Films
Police are worried that the Digital Economy Bill is disconnected from human rights, democracy and sound business sense. They visit the headquarters of the BPI, UK Music and political parties to serve them notice.
In the UK you could try this group to get involved in campaigning *******www.openrightsgroup****
Toronto police officer threatens to arrest G20 activist for blowing bubbles during a mass detention in Toronto's Parkdale community. Woman is later arrested along with twenty others while dozens more are detained and searched.
For a more complete account of the events of that day, watch the video "Toronto Community Defends G20 Activists" at *******www.youtube****/watch?v=bVwXOK...
Filmed by Nazrul Islam.
For more visit www.therealnews****
What do you think? We are at the start of the "Big Shift" away from the 20th century defined by hyper-consumption towards the 21st century, an age of Collaborative Consumption.
But just how LARGE and FAR-REACHING is this groundswell?
Democracy Now features author Raj Patel on the plight of South Africa's poor, and how the Shack-dwellers movement is fighting back.
Graham doesn't know.....
From visionOntv's mobile phone report workshop.
As the Freedom Flotilla gets ready and leaves for Gaza, well wishes are pouring in from around the word. We are pleased to share many of them with you and will continue to share them as we sail to bring vitally needed supplies to the imprisoned people of Gaza.
Today , Tuesday, May 11, 2010, Join us at the launch to Gaza
please read Press Release on www.freegaza****
Democracy Village is a tented village that was set up in Parliament Square, London on 1 May 2010, May Day, by a group of concerned citizens ahead of the general election in the UK on 6 May. The villagers are working towards a vision of peace, justice, freedom, true (direct) democracy and sustainable living in harmony with Mother Nature. The camp was still going strong two weeks later, and on Saturday 15 May people gathered in the Square for some guerilla gardening.
'Ahead of the Game' is a feature length documentary set in the heart of the neighbourhoods hosting the London 2012 Olympics.
It is a personal exploration of the multi billion pound project as seen through the eyes of AJ, a 20 year old who grew up in poverty on the estates of the East End.
With the world's media focused on the Games, AJ exposes the reality of development in one of the poorest places in the UK.
Find out more *******www.marcsilver****
it’s November 1999, and five days are about to rock the world as tens of thousands of demonstrators take to the streets of Seattle in protest of the World Trade Organization’s Ministerial Meeting. Among them are Django (Andre Benjamin), Sam (Jennifer Carpenter), Lou (Michelle Rodriguez) and Jay (Martin Henderson). Each has a unique story, but they’re united in a common desire to be heard and to make a difference in the world. For these four protesters, this is very personal and the stakes are higher than mere politics.
A peaceful demonstration to stop the WTO talks quickly escalates into a full-scale riot, and soon a State of Emergency is declared by the Mayor of Seattle. The streets are mayhem, and the WTO is paralyzed. Caught in the crossfire of civil liberties and keeping the peace are Seattle residents, including its beleaguered mayor (Ray Liotta), a riot cop on the streets (Woody Harrelson) and his pregnant wife (Charlize Theron). The choices they all make will change their lives forever.
Writer/Director Stuart Townsend brings together this talented ensemble to intertwine different points of view – from protesters and police to delegates and doctors -- each of whom intentionally or accidentally find themselves on the streets of Seattle in those last days of the millennium. Townsend seamlessly merges footage of the real event with his fictional narrative. Ultimately, Battle in Seattle illustrates that even against incredible odds, ordinary people can change the world.