Bhopal commemoration

Bhopal com­mem­o­ra­tion 2016

On 3rd Decem­ber 2016, peo­ple gath­ered in Edin­burgh to stand in sol­i­dar­i­ty with the peo­ple of Bhopal on the 32nd anniver­sary of the gas dis­as­ter. Wreaths and can­dles were placed beneath the Bhopal memo­r­i­al plaque in Greyfriar’s Kirk­yard.

Songs were sung by Edinburgh’s rad­i­cal choir, Protest in Har­mo­ny, and short mes­sages of sol­i­dar­i­ty giv­en by Des Lough­ney from Edin­burgh TUC and Kathy Jenk­ins from the Bhopal Med­ical Appeal.

Kathy Jenk­ins said:
Tonight in Bhopal sur­vivors groups come togeth­er to march with flam­ing torch­es to the memo­r­i­al stat­ue of the gas affect­ed moth­er oppo­site the Union Car­bide fac­to­ry, where ground water is still being con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed by haz­ardous chem­i­cal waste. They cry for the dead and they protest for the liv­ing. We stand today in sol­i­dar­i­ty with the peo­ple of Bhopal. That sol­i­dar­i­ty con­tin­ues to sup­port the cam­paign for jus­tice and the pro­vi­sion of cru­cial health care for sur­vivors and their chil­dren through the Samb­hav­na and Chin­gari clin­ics. Tonight I want to speak of hope rather than despair — I want to speak about the care giv­en at Samb­hav­na — a health clin­ic almost entire­ly fund­ed by indi­vid­u­als in the UK. From the time I vis­it­ed the clin­ic in Bhopal 2 years ago, I have believed that we can all learn from the ethos of Samb­hav­na: ‘that for the long term sick love is the most pow­er­ful
of med­i­cines, because love, even when it can­not cure, always heals. There are strong med­i­c­i­nal rea­sons why care should involve car­ing. Body, mind and what we may call soul are insep­a­ra­ble and a suf­fer­ing per­son needs to be cher­ished and to know that they are.’

Des Lough­ney said:
We sup­port the sur­vivors, who suf­fer from ail­ments and dis­abil­i­ties, in
their strug­gle with Indi­an author­i­ties for prop­er med­ical care. We sup­port the cam­paign to pres­surise Dow Chem­i­cals into pay­ing appro­pri­ate com­pen­sa­tion. We con­demn the dou­ble stan­dards of cap­i­tal­ism and trans nation­als that places a much high­er val­ue on US or British suf­fer­ing and death com­pared with Indi­an. In the trade union we have no doubt that the biggest chal­lenge in our times for British, US or Indi­an work­ers is to con­trol transna­tion­als. Any strug­gle to force them to respect jus­tice, health and safe­ty, envi­ron­men­tal issues, dig­ni­ty at work and human rights is one we all must sup­port.

 

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