International Day for Asbestos Victims Conference and Demonstration, Paris, France

Thu, Oct 25, 2012

Asbestos, Misc.

A landmark “International Day for Asbestos Victims” conference took place at the Palais de Luxembourg, the seat of the French Senate, in Paris on October 12, 2012. The conference was organized by ANDEVA, the national organisation representing asbestos victims in France. Around 250 scientists, decision makers, doctors, activists, asbestos victims and their families from twenty countries took part in the conference.

The first presentations addressed the state of the scientific research on asbestos diseases. This was followed by presentations on the battle being waged around the world for:

* a global ban on asbestos

* action to prevent ongoing harm from asbestos that has already been placed in communities

* compensation and justice for asbestos victims

* criminal charges to be laid against asbestos industrialists and their scientific and political allies who have caused so much death and suffering around the world.

Here are photos of  the conference –

In my presentation Defeating government and asbestos industry propaganda in Quebec and Canada, I spoke of how, through the efforts of health professionals, activists and asbestos victims, the asbestos industry and its political allies appear to be on the verge of ignominious defeat in Canada. Other presentations will be made available on the ANDEVA website shortly.

International asbestos conference, Paris, October 12, 2012

Participants at the conference rejoiced at the news that the plan to revive the asbestos industry in Quebec has been stopped. They sent a letter to Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, congratulating her government for its courageous decision to cancel the $58 million loan, given by the previous Quebec government to open the Jeffrey underground asbestos mine. The letter urged Premier Marois to pass legislation to ban the mining and use of asbestos in Quebec.

The following day, October 13, 2012, thousands of asbestos victims and their families and friends from all over France, together with asbestos victims and activists from around the world, joined in solidarity to march through the streets of Paris demanding a global ban on asbestos and justice for asbestos victims.

Sign reads: For a Future Without Asbestos. October 13, 2012 demonstration in Paris.

Grieving faces of asbestos victims, Paris demonstration, October 13, 2012

Demonstration finishes at La Place de l'Opéra

Other photos of the demonstration can be seen here –

The asbestos industry has for decades worked globally to advance its profits and to sabotage efforts to stop people being harmed by asbestos.

Now we see a growing movement of international solidarity to uphold the right to health and to defeat the infamous asbestos industry everywhere on the planet.

It cannot happen soon enough.

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