27th June: International Day of Action Against Dow Chemical

Bhopal Dow Olympic Sponsorship

On 27th June, international campaigners for justice in Bhopal are uniting around the world to take action against Dow Chemical. With one month to go to the London Olympics, demonstrators are marking this day by calling for Dow to be dropped as an Olympic sponsor. Actions will be taking place in India, the UK, the US and Canada.

We are calling for the Olympic sponsorship deal with Dow to be dropped because Dow is the company now responsible for the consequences of the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984.The disaster killed over 20,000 and caused injury and illness to thousands more. Dow bought Union Carbide, the company which owned the site in Bhopal when the gas leak occurred, in 2001.  The site of the disaster has still not been cleaned up, which has caused contamination of the water supply for thousands of Bhopalis. Hundreds of children continue to be born every year with birth defects as a result.

In support of these actions, we ask you to join us in demanding that Lord Coe, head of LOCOG, stops defending Dow’s toxic legacy, and that he apologises to the survivors of Bhopal for deciding that Dow could try to boost its reputation by sponsoring the London Olympics.

Tweet your demand to Seb Coe:

Dear @sebcoe, Apologise to Bhopalis for defending Dow’s toxic legacy. #DisqualifyDow. Help make Bhopal poison free. http://tinyurl.com/822f9xq

Dear @sebcoe, Help make Bhopal poison free: #DisqualifyDow from @London2012 http://tinyurl.com/822f9xq

Dear @sebcoe, Stop defending Dow’s toxic legacy – apologise to Bhopal survivors #DisqualifyDow http://tinyurl.com/822f9xq

Tweet #DisqualifyDow

Meredith Alexander, who resigned from the Commission for a Sustainable London in January over Dow’s sponsorship of the Olympics, commented,

Although there is just one month to go before the Games begin, the victims of Dow’s disaster in Bhopal are still waiting for LOCOG to acknowledge that the London Olympics are adding to their suffering.
Dow’s high profile involvement in the Games is a slap in the face to the people who have been fighting for years to get justice. Even if it is not possible to remove the Dow wrap, an official apology from the London Games organisers would mean the world to the people who lost loved ones or suffer life-long illness because of the gas leak. Dow’s sponsorship is a toxic stain on these Games. Athletes, Londoners and spectators the world over would be better able to enjoy the Olympics if the problem is addressed before they begin.

Colin Toogood from the Bhopal Medical Appeal said,

Everybody knows that Dow did not own the Bhopal factory at the time of the disaster. But this does not stop them from being responsible now. There is a criminal case still open against Union Carbide (UCC) for ‘culpable homicide’, and Dow refuses to present UCC in court. Dow is harbouring a fugitive from the law and preventing justice being done in Bhopal. Worse than that, while the legal process is stalled, people in Bhopal continue to be poisoned by toxic chemicals. Dow Chemical has both the power and the responsibility to stop this from happening.

Amy Jonson from Drop Dow Now said,

Dow has been trying to whitewash its toxic reputation with this Olympic sponsorship. They are trying to ignore their responsibilities to the people of Bhopal, where the environmental and humanitarian disaster is ongoing. We will not let this happen.

For news and photos of the action as it happen visit tinyurl.com/cdn9phr #DisqualifyDow

For more information on the campaign visit dropdownow.org

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.