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Activists Push LG Chem to Take Responsibility
To mark World Environment Day, activists in India and South Korea performed press events to push LG to take full responsibility for its horrible tragedy in India. Note that LG is a Korean company headquartered in Seoul. Groups in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Vietnam joined virtually.
Asian Network for Rights for Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) organized the events and prepared this video of events around Asia.
Due to time zones, Korea started first with a press conference in front of LG headquarters in Seoul.
Eight organizations participated:
- Asia Network for the Right of Occupational and Environmental Victims
- Asian Citizen's Center for Environment and Health
- Corporate and Human Rights Network
- Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health and Environment
- Center for Worker's Health and Safety
- Environmental Movement Federation
- Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
- SHARPS (Supporters for the Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry)
- Seosan Taean Environmental Movement Federation
- IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network)
The event began virtually with Mr. Rao from the Vizag community impacted by LG's lethal styrene release. Additional speakers included a worker safety advocate from an industrial zone in Korea which had a styrene release last year. A victim of LG's humidifier disinfectant product also spoke, along with a professor of public health from Seoul National University. IPEN gave a short summary of an Indian government report that exposed the company's disregard for safety measures.
Later in the morning, members of the Vizag community in India that experienced the toxic release held a demonstration to push LG to be responsible. Their goal was to form a large human chain. There was another protest earlier in the week on Monday as well.
Unfortunately, the police quickly closed in on the event and The Hindu reported that 150 people were arrested - including Mr. Rao who spoke virtually at the event in Korea. Mr. Rao asked the newspaper, “Why should we be arrested for the negligence of an MNC?”