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From: Jo Makepeace (
Subject: SchNEWS 623, Friday 7th March 2008
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2008 09:44:34 -0000

Indian protesters block road to Dow's new plant


Update from Dow Syndrome (See SchNEWS 621)

Protesters have had a dramatic victory (for the time being), at the site of the Dow Chemical's proposed new chemical plant at Pune, 150km southeast of Mumbai in India. Since January 16th, villagers and other supporters have occupied a road - having dug it up with bullocks - to blockade and stop construction work on a new Dow Chemical research lab.

Last week things came to a head when armed police were sent in to break it up. Initially they arrested twelve women from the BDBWSSS group after a massive protest rally on Feb 28th, but things got lairy when another group of 50-100 women actually surrounded the 200 police and held them hostage, demanding the release of the arrestees. Back-up police were called in but after the ensuing barny it took until after midnight before a further 143 were nicked. By morning, the protesters had built up numbers and ferocity once more - and the authorities started to take the threat seriously.

After the intervention of a Judge all arrestees were released unconditionally, and it was agreed to stop building work until the government committee submits its report. For the time being the road blockade is still on, and going into its eighth week...


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