You might just have heard that next month, London plays host to an Olympics Games which promises to ‘inspire a generation’. At the heart of the London games is a new stadium - encircled by a fabric wrap reportedly costing £7m and sponsored by Dow Chemical.
Dow Chemical is the 100% owner of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), and has been since 2001. UCC is the company that controlled a pesticide plant in the town of Bhopal in India where, in December 1984, a highly toxic gas spilled from the plant. Winds spread the poison through a densely populated area. Between 7,000 and 10,000 people died in the immediate aftermath, and a further 15,000 over the next 20 years. More than 100,000 people continue to suffer from serious debilitating health problems. Children born decades after the spill are, staggeringly, still drinking water that flows from the still polluted site.
The fight for justice for the victims of the Bhopal disaster was made a lot harder this year, thanks to statements from the London Olympic Organising Committee (LOCOG) which said that, contrary to Amnesty’s extensive research, they don’t accept that Dow Chemical bears responsibility for the Bhopal disaster. This was a slap in the face for victims of the disaster, still campaigning for justice from Dow in both Indian and US courts, pushing for Dow to clean up the mess they left behind and to ensure that families are properly compensated.
Frankly, in defending Dow, Lord Coe has polluted the London Olympics itself. Amnesty believes that people who are rightly excited about the Olympics shouldn’t have this toxic legacy on their conscience.
But there’s still time. Lord Coe and LOCOG can retract their defence of Dow, admit they’ve made an error of judgement, and apologise to victims of the Bhopal disaster.
We need your help and public pressure to get that. If you’ve got 2 minutes we’ve got 2 simple things for you to do:
1. Publicly tell Lord Coe to stop polluting the Olympics with Dow's toxic legacy
Send one or more of these tweets asking London 2012 and Lord Coe to apologise, or share this blog with your Facebook friends:
Tweet #DontDowIt Dear @sebcoe, stop defending Dow Chemical - don't pollute #London2012 with their toxic legacy #DontDowIt
Tweet #DontDowIt .@London2012, stop parroting Dow's excuses for the Bhopal disaster, don't pollute #London2012 with their toxic excuses. #DontDowIt
2. Send Lord Coe an email
We need private pressure as well as public pressure. Send an email to Lord Coe asking he retracts his defence of Dow and apologises
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