Monday, January 30, 2006

Diane Wilson Arrested

Diane Wilson was arrested on Dec. 5th in Houston and is currently serving a 120 day sentence.
Diane was wanted in Texas on Crimial Trespassing charges from 2002, when she had climbed a tower at Dow Chemical to protest the company's continued irresponsibility following its 1984 chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, where 150,000 people were poisoned. Diane refused to turn herself in for the trespassing charges until Warren Anderson, former CEO of Union Carbide, turned himself in to the Indian government, where he has been wanted for thirteen years for the Culpable Homicide of thousands in Bhopal.

On December 5th, 2005, Wilson returned to Texas to infiltrate a fundraiser in Houston for recently-indicted U.S. Rep. Tom Delay attended by Vice President Dick Cheney. While protestors outside waved placards opposing the Iraq War, Wilson purchased a ticket, entered, and unfurled a banner reading “Corporate Greed Kills—From Bhopal to Baghdad” as Vice President Cheney was speaking. Wilson was removed from the event, arrested, and subsequently transferred to Victoria County jail to serve out her sentence stemming from her earlier protest at the Dow Chemical facility.

Related links: An Unreasonable Woman; Diane Wilson Reports From Texas County Jail

Diane was at UMass about 2-3 months back, to speak about her book. It was great to hear someone speak about their activism and struggles first hand, rather than some one proposing theoritical solutions etc. Also, what was great is that she was a no-one on the coorporate front, meaning not a lawyer, a business woman etc, to lock horns with the chemical companies. She was/is just a shrimp farmer concerned about the pollutants being disposed off by the giant companies and effecting the environment. Goes to show, that anyone can make a difference, as long as they are strong enough in what they believe. One thing in particular that she said during the discussion regarding Gandhi (she has gone on many hunger-strikes): Gandhi did not want people to idolize him and said that anyone could do the things that he was trying to do ... in affect everyone could be a Gandhi.

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