Guerrilla of the Week Diane Wilson

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
–Abbie Jarman
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