Bhopalis are dissatisfied on the whole with the settlement last month, which brings about $500 to the families of affected victims—the settlement came over a decade after a Dow Chemical-owned chemical plant exploded, killing thousands immediately and leaving thousands more with long-term illness. Many of the tens of thousands of victims are unacknowledged and will receive absolutely no money whatsoever.
In the aftermath of the G20 protests, some are drawing comparisons to Chicago ’68. Before all was said and done, the entire city had become militarized as the state oppressed dissenting citizens through brutal means and violently suppressed the media. Unlike Chicago, however, the protesters are demanding significant change that outstretch the Peace Movement of the ’60s. For example, less reliance on fossil fuels, more support for sustainable community, less imperialist foreign policy and myriad forms of economic/ecological restructuring.
Speaking of Canada, the movement to stop the 2010 Olympics in Toronto has been declared a victory or a loss depending on who you talk to, but the next Winter Olympics will be held in perhaps an even more grim environmental situation: Sochi, Russia. Viktor Danilov-Danilyan, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Water Problems, says that the environmental damage done by construction for the 2014 Olympics has been so disastrous that there is no use protesting — the irrevocable destruction has already been done. Over the last decade, the number of environmental inspectors has fallen from 5600 to 300 and illegal deforestation is all but aided by the government. Protests have sent the country into paroxysms this year, and it’s anybody’s guess as to how Sochi will affect the political landscape.