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<nettime> Dow and Verio shut down thing.net, rtmark.com, theyesmen.org,
fluxdepot on Fri, 6 Dec 2002 01:48:30 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Dow and Verio shut down thing.net, rtmark.com, theyesmen.org, dow-chemical.com, etc. etc. etc.



Howdy there,

This is Andy from The Yes Men (and Dow-Chemical.com, in case you didn't
know....).

Some interesting follow-up on that release from the day before yesterday
(pasted below)..... It turns out that Dow sent Verio a DMCA notice over
Dow-Chemical.com (I can send you a copy if you like), and Verio then proceeded
to shut down not only Dow-Chemical.com, but the entire Thing.net network,
hosting of course innumerable activist, artist, and other websites and bulletin
boards.

[[Update: Thing.net just went back up after a night down. The other sites are
still down because the RTMark box (which hosts the other sites) was taken down
so as not to endanger Thing.net in a permanent way.... As soon as
Dow-Chemical.com is disabled, then the others will be up again.]]

You can reach Thing.net technical support at 1-212-937-0444. I can be reached
at 011-33-6-15-81-37-44. Frank from RTMark (an activist service provider,
cc'ed) can be reached at 1-917-209-3282.

It is quite dramatic how much more both Dow and Verio esteem Dow's image over
the 20,000 people dead from Bhopal over the years, plus the estimated 500,000
suffering permanent damage over the years from the catastrophe--which has STILL
not been cleaned up 18 years later! They esteem the Dow image so much, in fact,
that they don't mind wiping an entire activist and artistic network right off
the face of the internet, indefinitely!

It reminds one of the time that Dow, trying to make a profit, accidentally
wiped all those people right off the face of the earth! Hm, real murder has
gotten each Bhopal family compensated $300-$500 per victim--guess we couldn't
expect very much, even if Dow or Verio felt bad about wiping us out merely
virtually and temporarily....

By the way, the same thing happened back in the Toywar, when eToys issued a
DMCA to Verio, and Verio shut down (again apparently by accident or disregard)
the whole Thing.net network--but only for 3 hours. The WTO also issued a DMCA
to Verio regarding GATT.org about a year ago, but Verio did nothing, and stated
that the DMCA was not relevant to it, since it was not Verio that was the host,
but merely the upstream provider. (Score in the Verio esteem: WTO: 0; eToys: 3
[hours network down]; Dow: 16 [hours network down, and counting])

Best, Di
Andy Bichlbaum 
The Yes Men previously http://theyesmen.org/ now invisible


The release:

December 3, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: mailto:press {AT} dow-chemical.com

DOW ADDRESSES BHOPAL OUTRAGE, EXPLAINS POSITION
Company responds to activist concerns with concrete action points

In response to growing public outrage over its handling of the Bhopal
disaster's legacy, Dow Chemical (http://www.dow-chemical.com) has
issued a statement explaining why it is unable to more actively
address the problem.

"We are being portrayed as a heartless giant which doesn't care about
the 20,000 lives lost due to Bhopal over the years," said Dow
President and CEO Michael D. Parker. "But this just isn't true. Many
individuals within Dow feel tremendous sorrow about the Bhopal
disaster, and many individuals within Dow would like the corporation
to admit its responsibility, so that the public can then decide on the
best course of action, as is appropriate in any democracy.
"Unfortunately, we have responsibilities to our shareholders and our
industry colleagues that make action on Bhopal impossible. And being
clear about this has been a very big step."

On December 3, 1984, Union Carbide--now part of Dow--accidentally
killed 5,000 residents of Bhopal, India, when its pesticide plant
sprung a leak. It abandoned the plant without cleaning it up, and
since then, an estimated 15,000 more people have died from
complications, most resulting from chemicals released into the
groundwater.

Although legal investigations have consistently pinpointed Union
Carbide as culprit, both Union Carbide and Dow have had to publicly
deny these findings. After the accident, Union Carbide compensated
victims' families between US$300 and US$500 per victim.
"We understand the anger and hurt," said Dow Spokesperson Bob Questra.
"But Dow does not and cannot acknowledge responsibility. If we did,
not only would we be required to expend many billions of dollars on
cleanup and compensation--much worse, the public could then point to
Dow as a precedent in other big cases. 'They took responsibility; why
can't you?' Amoco, BP, Shell, and Exxon all have ongoing problems that
would just get much worse. We are unable to set this precedent for
ourselves and the industry, much as we would like to see the issue
resolved in a humane and satisfying way."

Shareholders reacted to the Dow statement with enthusiasm. "I'm happy
that Dow is being clear about its aims," said Panaline Boneril, who
owns 10,000 shares, "because Bhopal is a recurrent problem that's
clogging our value chain and ultimately keeping the share price from
expressing its full potential. Although a real solution is not
immediately possible because of Dow's commitments to the larger
industry issues, there is new hope in management's exceptional new
clarity on the matter."

"It's a slow process," said Questra. "We must learn bit by bit to meet
this challenge head-on. For now, this means acknowledging that much as
it pains us, our prime responsibilities are to the people who own Dow
shares, and to the industry as a whole. We simply cannot do anything
at this moment for the people of Bhopal."


Dow Chemical is a chemical products and services company devoted to
bringing its customers a wide range of chemicals. It furnishes
solutions for the agriculture, electronics, manufacturing, and oil and
gas industries, including well-known products like Styrofoam, DDT, and
Agent Orange, as well as lesser-known brands like Inspire, Retain,
Eliminator, Quash, and Woodstalk. For more on the Bhopal catastrophe,
please visit Dow at http://www.dow-chemical.com/.

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