Guerrilla of the Week Diane Wilson

| July 26, 2002

Guerrilla of the Week: Diane Wilson

Diane Wilson, a 52 year-old fourth-generation shrimper, parked her pick-up truck outside a Dow Chemical plant in Sea Drift, Texas, last week and began a hunger strike, reports Anna Lappe of Guerrilla News Network. Like the three hunger strikers in New Delhi, India, who inspired her own action, Wilson hopes to force Dow to finally admit liability for a major toxic disaster in Bhopal, India, 18 years ago.

The December 2, 1984, Bhopal disaster, in which a Union Carbide pesticide factory spewed 40 tons of poisonous gas throughout the city, killed at least 2,500 people that night and is blamed for countless injuries and birth defects that ensued. The disaster was settled in court, and Union Carbide (now a Dow subsidiary) paid $470 million to victims and their families.

But Union Carbide (and now Dow) denies responsibility for the disaster, blaming the breakdown on a 'disgruntled employee;' and the $470 million barely stretches to the measureless number of victims. Enter Wilson, who has been fighting Union Carbide stateside since 1989, when she learned her county was the 'number one toxic hotspot in America.' She's been picketing the plant and crashing stockholder meetings for years, but now believes that hunger strikes -- not drafts, petitions, or court cases -- make a difference.
--Abbie Jarman
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