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Prevent Armageddon, Inc.: MAD at a Merger between Dow and Union Carbide
June 7, 2000

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At the site of the old Union Carbide factory, Bhopal
Caption
"NO JUSTICE, NO MERGER", read a sign from a protest at the May 11, 2000 Dow shareholders meeting on Union Carbide, an American chemical company that is trying to merge with Dow Chemicals. If they succeed, Dow would be the second largest chemical company in the world (after DuPont), with an estimated $60 billion in sales by 2010. People around the planet want to stop a union between these companies because both companies have histories of putting profit before human and environmental health.


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Tim Edwards biked to Bhopal to raise money for survivors
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Tim Edwards cycled from Brighton, England to Bhopal, India-- a distance of more than 10,000 kilometers -- to raise money for survivors of the 1984 gas tragedy. Read more about his trip, at "Lifecycle." Many thanks to Tim for preparing most of this dispatch.

Activist John Campbell says, "I think an appropriate merged name would be: Armageddon, Inc." A company merger is not a criminal act, but this merger is based on a criminal lie: Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) claims it has no criminal liabilities. FACT: Union Carbide does have liabilities. The company faces criminal charges in India. FACT: Indian courts charged Union Carbide with homicide and reckless and depraved indifference to human life. Why? The court claims that Union Carbide did not maintain safety measures to prevent an accidental poisonous gas leak that killed thousands and permanently injured hundreds of thousands. Following the accident, the company reached a $470 million settlement in India's Supreme Court, but criminal charges are still pending. The corporation and former chairman Warren Anderson have not yet gone on trial and have not yet been punished for their alleged crimes against humanity.

Vocabulary

armageddon - The decisive battle between good and evil
liabilities - The state of being obligated to make good on any loss or damage
pesticide - Any chemical used for killing insects
chronic - Lasting a long time or recurring often

FACT: The 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal was the largest industrial accident in world history. UCC is liable for damages in excess of $1 billion and if the merger goes through, "we will seek confiscation of Dow's assets in India to put towards Union Carbide's criminal and environmental liabilities," says Satinath Sarangi, who is a founding member of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

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Protesters marching against Union Carbide
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In one of their annual meetings, UCC's former Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kennedy, claimed that "Bhopal is history". This is news to Bhopal's residents! The aftereffects of the pesticide cloud continue to plague hundreds of thousands of Bhopalis. Young people face chronic illness like lung damage, gastrointestinal diseases, gynecological problems, immune disorders, and cancers. Future generations will likely be affected as well. Ten to fifteen Bhopalis still die each month because of gas-related diseases. Public memory and outrage will not allow Bhopal to become buried and forgotten history.

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From the 15th anniversary rally, photo permission from Sambhavna Trust
Caption
"It's not in my power to take responsibility for an event that took place 15 years ago with a product we never developed at a location where we never operated," Dow Chairman Frank Popoff says. But justice has not yet been done. "The massacre in Bhopal is the big reason why the name Union Carbide continues to be a burden on the corporation," continues Sarangi. "It is still a source of negative public relations. Aware of this, Union Carbide initiated its vanishing act way back in 1992." Union Carbide folded its Hong Kong division and changed its Indian subsidiary's name to Eveready because local courts cannot proceed against a company that has dissolved itself. Do not allow Union Carbide's name to become history through its merger with Dow.

You can help stop this merger and ensure that Union Carbide has to face up to its criminal liabilities. The International Alliance for Justice in Bhopal spearheads this movement.

Dow Chemicals also has a history of putting profit before human lives; Dow was the top producer of Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant sprayed over 4.5 million acres in Vietnam during the war with the United States in the late 1960s. Agent Orange has been directly implicated in the suffering of thousands of Vietnamese from chemical-related illnesses and birth deformities. Dow made magnesium for bombs; Union Carbide produced nuclear materials and chemical weapons during World War II. Dow faces thousands of lawsuits related to silicone breast implants. It is also the world's largest producer of chlorine: a byproduct of this is dioxin, a very toxic chemical. Dioxin is linked to cancer, birth defects, and fertility problems.

To help, send the following letter to the addresses below.

Dr. William Joyce
Chairman/CEO
Union Carbide Corporation
39 Old Ridgebury Road
Danbury, CT 06817-0001

Tomm Sprick, Manager
Corp. Comm. Dept
Union Carbide Corporation
39 Old Ridgebury Rd.
Section L4-505
Danbury, CT 06817-0001
E-mail: spricktf@ucarb.com

William F. Stavropoulos
CEO, Dow Chemicals
2030 Dow Center
Midland, MI 48642

Frank Popoff, Chairman
Dow Chemicals
2030 Dow Center
Midland, MI 48642

Dow Chemicals Media Relations Email : amainsworth@dow.com

Harold Shapiro - a Director at Dow and a member of Dow's Environment, Health, Safety and Public Policy Committee. Also President of Princeton University
Email - hts@Princeton.EDU or profhts@Princeton.EDU

Jacqueline K. Barton - Dow Chemicals Board Member and Chemistry Professor at Caltech - jkbarton@its.caltech.edu

Robert Pitofsky
Chairman
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20580

The Office of Policy and Evaluation
Room 394, Bureau of Competition
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20580
Tel. (202) 326-3300
E-Mail: antitrust@ftc.gov

House Committee on the Judiciary
Representative Henry Hyde, Chairman
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Subcommittee on Antitrust,
Business Rights, and Competition
Senator Mike DeWine, Chairman
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Room SD-161, Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Mike Dewine's Washington, D.C. Office
140 Russell Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2315 /Fax: (202) 224-6519
http://www.senate.gov/~dewine/request_form.html

COPY THIS LETTER AND FILL IN THE BOTTOM

Dear _____________

On August 13, 1999, an application for a proposed merger between Dow Chemicals and Union Carbide Corporation was submitted to the Security Exchange Council and other regulatory authorities. I understand that false information was given in the application: the companies lied about Union Carbide's outstanding criminal liabilities. Indian courts charge UCC with the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, and hold UCC liable for the killing of thousands of innocent people and assaulting of hundreds of thousands others through reckless corporate conduct. Union Carbide Corporation is evading criminal prosecution in India and has been doing so for nine years. Executives of Union Carbide pretend that "Bhopal is history." Public memory refuses to allow Bhopal to become history. The company seems to be using this merger to disappear. Dow Chemicals must realize that a merger with Union Carbide means they inherit their criminal liabilities. I strongly oppose the Union Carbide-Dow merger. In my opinion, an appropriate merged name would be: (insert your thoughts on a gloomy name, like Armageddon, Inc.) I demand that responsible agencies stop this merger from taking place because: (insert your reasons)

Sincerely,

(your name)


 

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Monica - Assassination: Indira Gandhi's Life Through Politics
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