Volume 79, Number 49 | May 12 - 18, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

A Salute to Union Square

Villager photos by Jefferson Siegel

New School toxic avengers: A place for protests 2
On Dec. 3 of last year, hundreds of freshmen students from Parsons The New School held a die-in in Union Square’s then-still-unrenovated northern plaza to mark the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal, India, chemical disaster. The students — spelling “DOW” in giant letters with their bodies — demanded accountability from Dow Chemical Company and the Indian government in addressing the lingering effects of the leak of 27 tons of pesticides from Union Carbide’s factory on Dec. 2, 1984, which killed several thousand people and poisoned many others. The students also demanded that Dow — which bought Union Carbide in 1999 — give the Indian government $23 million to start cleaning up Bhopal. Last year’s movie “The Yes Men Fix the World” highlighted the toxic disaster’s ongoing health effects — including drinking water that is full of carcinogens. A lecture by Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men, also a faculty member at the school, sparked the action.

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