Last night, Wikileaks revealed a massive trove of e-mails from the firm Stratfor. The e-mails show that the company, working on behalf of chemical giant Dow Chemical, closely monitored news coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Stratfor relayed the activities of people seeking redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, which resulted in the death of thousands and lasting environmental damage.
Many Bhopal activists joined the ranks of the Occupy movement in recent months, a trend that was noticed by Stratfor:
– Dec. 9, 2011: Stratfor e-mailed a monitoring report to Dow Chemical noting that Bhopal activists had rallied with Occupy Boston members, passed out literature, and hosted a film screening. Activists discussed how Dow is “avoiding responsibility for remediation of
former UCIL factory site and compensation to gas accident victims, and greenwashing its image with the London 2012 Olympics sponsorship.” [source]
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– Oct. 14, 2011: A Stratfor analyst e-mailed an update noting that a member of the “Yes Men,” active in the Bhopal movement, traveled to Los Angeles and New York to participate in Occupy events. [source]
From the e-mails, it does not appear that Stratfor worked to undermine the Occupy movement, an allegation leveled at other corporate intelligence firms. But the e-mails do serve as a reminder that powerful corporate interests are spending money to monitor the Occupy movement and its attempt to hold businesses accountable for their abuses.