CODEPINK Gives its First Ever Human Rights Award to Texas Fisherwoman Diane Wilson

June 11, 2004

You, too, can honor Diane by taking a simple actionsee below!

At a dinner banquet in San Francisco on June 10, CODEPINK honored Texas fisherwoman Diane Wilson. Diane, "infamous" for her struggles against the chemical companies polluting the Gulf Coast, is in many ways responsible for the birth of CODEPINK. At a rousing speech to a group of environmentalists called Bioneers, Diane called on the "unreasonable women" of the world to come together to fight pollution, war, and injustice. Bioneers co-producer Nina Simons was so moved that she convened a gathering of "Unreasonable Women for the Earth" in 2002, and it was there that CODEPINK was conceived. Since then, Diane has joined CODEPINK in a hunger strike in front of the White House to try to stop the war in Iraq, chained herself to the UN fence to urge the UN to stop the war, and went to Iraq weeks before the invasion to send a message of peace to Iraqi women.

On the environmental front, Diane not only fights the chemical companies polluting her bay in Texas, but she has gone half-way around the worldto Bhopal, Indiato fight the chemical companies there. In 1991 she was invited to India to a gathering looking back at the Union Carbide explosion in 1984 that killed over 20,000 people in Bhopal. She was so outraged by the chemical companys lack of accountability to the victims, and even their refusal to clean up the site, that she became active in the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

The best way we can pay tribute to Diane is to support her latest endeavor on behalf of the people of Bhopal. In response to a suit filed by Bhopal survivors, a court in New York has agreed to consider survivors' claims for getting Union Carbide to clean up the toxic waste in Bhopal. For this to happen, the Indian Government needs to submit a letter to the New York court expressing its support for the survivors' claims. The deadline set by the New York court for receipt of such a letter is June 30, 2004. So far, the Indian Government has refused to respond.

Diane will join some of the Bhopal victims in a NO FOOD, NO WATER hunger strike starting on June 18. While Diane and her colleagues are putting their lives on the line, they are asking us to call, fax or send a letter to the Indian Consulate in New York: Mr. Ashok Tomar, New York Consul General Tel: 212 774 0600 Fax: 212 734 4980) or email the Minister of Chemicals in India (mincf.cpc@sb.nic.in).

Click here for talking points, a sample letter, and background information:

Diane, a simple fisherwoman from a small village, understands the connections between poor fisherfolk in Texas, chemical victims in Bhopal, and war victims in Iraq. Over the years she has taken incredible personal risks to stop corporate and government abuses. She is a great inspiration to "unreasonable women" everywhere, and CODEPINK is delighted to have this opportunity to salute her courage and her example.

Thank you, Diane. We love you.

Andrea, Bonnie, Carol, Claire, Gael, Jodie, Lora, Medea


Informant: Martin Greenhut


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Juni 2004

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