20 years
The Bhopal Memory Project

images | 20th anniversary

The 20th anniversary of the gas disaster was marked by protest and commemoration worldwide, with attention from some media - particularly in the UK - and concentrated innattention from others (namely the United States press).  The day culminated in an unprecedented hoax by the anti-corporate activists The Yes-men that briefly convinced the BBC, the Bhopalis and the world that Dow was ready to take responsiblity for Bhopal and compensate them with an unprecedented amount of money.

The night before the anniversary - Ruth Waterman's statue memorializing the disaster stands in front of a wall demanding the extradition to India of Warren Anderson, former CEO of Union Carbide. Photo by Bridget Hanna.

A girl from one of the affected communites stands in front of the Union Carbide Factory, and the gas disaster memorial.  Photo by Bridget Hanna

On the day of the anniversary, local boys sit on the new wall that has been built to keep people from entering the former factory site.  The remains of the gate - painted by activists years before, is beneath their feet.  Photo by Bridget Hanna

Gas survivors march in protest against Dow and Carbide on the 20th anniversary of the gas leak.  Photo by Bridget Hanna

Press and photographers perch above the crowds on a fire engine to document the protests.  Photo by Bridget Hanna

An effigy of Dow Chemical - with Union Carbide in its jacket and the United States and Indian governments in each of its pockets, towers above protestors on the day of the anniversary. Photo by Bridget Hanna

Protesters in Bhopal burn an effigy of Dow Chemical in front of the former factory site on the 20th anniversary. Photo by Bridget Hanna  

Andy Birchlbaum of the anti-corporate activist group The Yes-men, impersonating a Dow Chemical Company official on a BBC International television broadcast on December 3rd, 2004.  His announcement that Dow was taking responsibility for the gas disaster and compensating the survivors to the tune of $12 billion dollars sparked temporary panic among shareholders and CEOs, and celebration among victims and activists. 

An educational initiative of the Human Rights Project at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

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