Aquarius Full Moon: Organize with Others

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Tonight (or early Thursday morning, depending on where you are) is the Aquarius Full Moon at 11:27 pm EDT. It’s the Full Moon of the current Olympic games, not just because it falls during the competition. Yesterday Eric described this Moon as having “a need to be supportive of others, or at minimum, to organize with others in a way that’s useful.”

Disabled Indian children in Bhopal participating in a 25 meter sprint. Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP

Before the Full Moon happens, the Moon opposes retrograde Mercury in Leo just before noon EDT. This is a caution to think through, as in consider carefully, anything that comes across your mind as intuition. The blend of the Moon in intellectually-oriented Aquarius opposite Mercury dancing backwards could come with some mixed signals about what is really true. Please, check your facts before acting on any information that comes your way — whether you think it’s intuitive of whether you hear something from someone.

Meanwhile, in public life, we’re seeing an illustration of what the Full Moon is about in the form of Olympic protests, with one in particular focused on Dow Chemical standing out. In Bhopal, India last week, five activist groups joined together to hold an unofficial ‘Special Olympics’ to protest Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the official Olympic games. This is part of an ongoing protest against Dow for its role in the Bhopal disaster.

In 1984, Bhopal was the site of a massive gas leak by Union Carbide (Dow purchased Union Carbide in 1999, assuming its liabilities). The official death toll immediately after the incident was more than 3,000, with an unofficial toll of 7,000-8,000 and over 15,000 total deaths to date. Nearly 600,000 people have been affected by the the massive chemical release.

If you’ve been reading Planet Waves for a while, you may be familiar with Bhopal, since the 25th anniversary of the disaster there was the focus of a famous Yes Men direct action on BBC World (see the video here).

In 1989, a $470 million compensation was paid out — a paltry sum — and Dow refuses to add to it. Now it’s attempting to ‘greenwash’ its image by sponsoring the most globally loved, feel-good event of all: the Olympics, full of strong, healthy, cheerful young people.

Maybe it sounds like Dow has done its moral duty. Maybe it has. But did you know Dow Chemical was responsible for making napalm during the Vietnam War? says Dow is considered “the chemical companies’ chemical company” since it mainly sells to other manufacturers rather than end-users. It’s kind of a great-granddaddy to all kinds of really toxic stuff.

That’s why these activist groups have pulled together in protest. Why should Dow Chemical — even if it ‘inherited’ the Bhopal legacy — get to sparkle like a gold medal (or a green one) when children are still being born in the footprint of the leak with high rates of cerebral palsy, cancer and birth defects?

“Dow as sponsor of Olympics is like a dance on the graves of Bhopal gas victims,” said Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action. “On the one hand, Dow is running away from its liabilities in Bhopal, but on the other hand it is doing [a] public relations [exercise] at the Olympics.”

Or, as our intrepid chemicals investigator Carol Van Strum put it, “Dow’s $11.4 million ‘donation’ to the Olympics is like the bishop hiding a pedophile priest and paying lobbyists to avoid prosecution.”

So with this Full Moon, consider joining with the activists in Bhopal to shine some light on the corporate/political underbelly of the Olympics. You don’t have to hate the games. I don’t think there’s any use in undermining or negating the amazing stories and sacrifices and accomplishments of the athletes. But right now, despite nearly all the world looking at London, there are still stories in the shadows. There have been other protests, such as a Critical Mass bike ride near the Olympic Stadium that resulted in 182 people being held overnight — including a 13-year-old boy — aimed at being sure voices of dissent are not drowned out by advertising hype.

Not all protesters can actually get anywhere near the Olympic Stadium. It’s up to us to ‘organize in a way that’s useful’, and we have some incredible, Aquarian tools (like the Internet) and Leo tools (like how our values guide our actions and purchases) at our disposal.

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9 Responses to Aquarius Full Moon: Organize with Others

  1. aprilius52 says:

    Today in San Francisco there will be a protest and a funeral march for safe access to medical marijuana, the Dept of Justice has been sending threatening letters to dispensaries that are in compliance with state law. We thought Obama’s administration would support us after he promised not to go after dispensaries in compliance, he has betrayed all medical cannabis patients here in California.

  2. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    btw — the photo used was taken from this article , which is linked to above as well:

    i post it here again b/c the images are so powerful. it was hard to to choose which one to use. i went with the one with the anti-Dow art in the background, but my favorite is just below that one. it is a little girl who won a medal in the crab walk, and her smile is so sweet, so genuinely proud of her achievement yet soft… it melts my heart every time i look at it. i’m completely in love with that little one.

  3. Lizzy Huffy says:

    Wow. I’m so sorry about your dad, Amanda.

  4. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    my dad used to dust the broccoli leaves in our family garden with sevin.

    my dad, the doctor; product of the post ww2 industrial culture.

    a few years ago, he told me that jen, the young new doctor at his practice who had been one of his students, was appalled that he used the stuff, still had some in the garage in this 21st century.

    i try not to think about how much of that stuff my family may have consumed, whether it’s still in the soil of that garden, whether it, along with god knows what else, may have contributed to his cancer.


  5. mystes mystes says:

    Maria! Damn!!

    Props to the Poet.


  6. mariapadhila says:

    poem from a ways back about bhopal. wish i’d kept the source, but somewhere i read that there wasn’t really a market for sevin at the time but they kept making it anyway, because having unsold product wasn’t as expensive as shutting down.

    Clouds: A Business Plan

    Keep churning it out;
    Someone’s eventually going to want it,
    Aren’t they? And we’ll have it ready for them.

    We can’t pull out, we’re too far in,
    So we’ll just pull back a little,
    And then a little more; do more with less.

    Take out the ones who know the right words,
    The ones who know the rules,
    The ones who know what to do.

    Slide out the equipment, the plans,
    Valves, plates, water spray, escape hatches,
    A little at a time, pulling every prop

    Until the factory, unsupported, hovers like a cloud.
    Humming, barely running, emitting
    A buzz of discontent and tension.

    What a trick! Like coyote off a cliff,
    Legs cycling frantically in midair
    Before it crashes. And the cloud escapes.

    He remembers a day in Catholic
    Grammar school: He was castigated
    By the sister for drawing clouds

    With flat bottoms. Clouds are puffy,
    She insisted; he knew better, little scientist,
    And stuck to his guns and took the hit.

    Then the toxic cloud rolled down the streets
    Like a rogue wave, chasing humans,
    Bringing them down. Three thousand

    Souls escaped in that moment, spirits
    Like smoke into the sky. What a haze
    They must have made in paradise.

    They say at least one more dies from it
    Each day. They say they’re not sure
    Where they’re sourcing that statistic.

    No matter; today, the world is flat,
    The clouds are flat. So he runs
    It up the flagpole to watch it wave.

    He sees cirrus wisps, but the crown chakra
    Is not top of mind. Outsource democracy;
    No danger of overproduction here.

    The executive summary counsels
    Keeping a keen eye toward opportunities
    Presented by the fog of war.

  7. Lizzy Huffy says:

    Here’s a brilliant piece about the Olympics, by Ai weiwei

  8. Lizzy Huffy says:

    Thank you for this, dear Amanda. Excellent stuff. I didn’t know that Dow was a sponsor of the Olympic games. but none of this surprises me. I know I’m a killjoy, but I can’t help but think of ‘bread and circuses’ when I think about the Olympic games.

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