The Olympic sponsorship by Dow Chemical Corporation has been called into question today as protesters lay down in front of the countdown clock in Trafalgar Square, demanding justice for the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Criticism of the Dow sponsorship, which has covered the cost of the £5.5 million wrap of the stadium, has been rife for months but with the Olympics just one month away protesters are putting more pressure on the Olympic Committee to drop them.
The controversy surrounding Dow, the world's second largest chemical producer, relates to its purchase of Union Carbide in 1999 - the company responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. The Bhopal disaster is considered the world's worst industrial catastrophe, and Dow's continued neglect of the site, and failure to act on the consequences of the disaster and the responsibilities inherited from Union Carbide make the company an inappropriate, and for many an offensive, sponsor of the London Olympics this summer.
On December 2, 1984 a leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people to toxic chemicals.The death toll estimates are as high as 25,000. A government affidavit in 2006 officially confirmed that the leak had caused 558,125 injuries, including 38,478 temporary or partial, and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. The affects of the tragedy are still felt today, with the real long-term impact of the harmful chemicals still largely unknown.
Protesters believe that the inclusion of Dow as an Olympic sponsor is contradictory to their ethos of global inclusion, environmental responsibility, health, sustainability and progress.
Photographs via 'OccupyLondon.