Drop Dow Now has received a reliable tip-off that will let us take our message straight to Dow Chemical. We have a very visual plan to make sure they know London doesn’t want their toxic legacy.
On Olympic Opening day, Friday 27th, around 50 people gathered for the final pre-olympic statement of the anti-Dow campaign. A press conference took place amongst a sea of bodies as campaign supporters staged a ‘die-in’ protest simultaneously with the press conference.
Dow Chemical’s sponsorship has been the constant thorn in the side of the Olympics; since their sponsorship deal with London was announced in August 2011 there has been constant protest and political pressure. The issue has never left the media spotlight.
In Bhopal, on the eve of the opening ceremony, survivors and supporters held a ‘Special Olympics’ involving children from Bhopal who have been affected by the gas disaster, and by the water contamination at the Union Carbide site.
“Today (July 26), on the eve of the London Olympics, Bhopal had its own Olympics here in Bhopal. About 80 disabled children particpated (being born disabled because of the Union Carbide Gas disaster) in different competitions. Many of them even won medals.”
Pictures by Sanjay Verma
These are some of the pictures from today, it was a training session for the event that we’ll be having tomorrow.
On the eve of the opening ceremony of the actual Olympics in London, Bhopal will be having a special event called Bhopal ‘Special’ Olympics to boycott London Olympics (Dow bought Union Carbide in 2001, and now sponsoring the London Olympics).
Participants will be the children being born disabled with several birth deformities cause of the Bhopal Gas disaster, and the poisons from the Union Carbide site in Bhopal which is yet to be cleaned up.
A chemical leak in India killed 20,000 people, poisoned 500,000 and caused decades of disease and death — now survivors have a real chance to get justice from the company responsible. But the Indian government is working behind the scenes to help shield Dow Chemical from big payouts. It’s up to us to step in and bring victory to the victims.
It took weeks of public outcry to convince the government to target Dow at all for these crimes and now Home Affairs Minister Chidambaram is busy erasing almost 80% of the victims from the claim, drastically reducing the possible damages.
Public pressure forced the Minister to support the victims in the first place. Now we have the chance to make this court case a real push for justice. Join the call, when we reach 500,000 signers we will display hard-hitting billboards outside of the two posh clubs the Minister frequents in Delhi:
The Bhopal chemical spill tragedy wrecked the lives of hundreds of thousands of peopleand scorched the earth for generations. Yet despite this historic destruction, no justice has been served. Union Carbide, the company in charge of the plant, dodged responsibility, then was bought by Dow Chemical who have also refused to pay out fair compensation to the victims still desperate for help dealing with the loss and destruction around them.
Now, after decades of fighting for justice and a big campaign to push the Indian government to act, the petition before the Indian Supreme Court could reopen the case – paving the way to compensation from Dow to the survivors. But accurately assessing the number of victims is key to ensuring every victim gets a payout if they win. Minister Chidambaram is responsible for a brief, submitted to the court, that eliminated almost 80% of the victims as assessed by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
The Minister is likely working to protect Dow in order to keep India’s investment reputation. We can show him that justice is more important than bending the law to please big corporations! Click below to sign the petition and if we reach 500,000 signers, Avaaz will take this message directly to the front doors of the elite clubs where Chidambaram relaxes:
The Bhopal survivors need allies to win their decades long fight for justice, and we can answer their call. In the past, Avaaz has successful stood with other communities under threat from multinational companies from Guatemala to the Ivory Coast. Now let’s support the victims of Bhopal in their final push for justice.
The Tragedy Continues (Tehelka)
Bhopal Activists Slam U.S. Ruling (blog)
Between the flames (The Hindu)
Olympic Protesters Arrested for Spilling Custard
The former London 2012 “ethics tsar” Meredith Alexander has accused police of an “Olympic-sized overreaction”, saying they broke up a theatre performance designed to highlight the problems of corporate sponsorship of the Games and arrested six people on suspicion of criminal damage for spilling custard.
Alexander, who was behind the event in Trafalgar Square in central London on Friday, quit her role as a commissioner of the Olympic sustainability watchdog earlier this year over the awarding of a £7m Olympic sponsorship deal to Dow Chemical. Dow owns Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), responsible for the 1984 gas disaster in Bhopal, India, which killed 25,000 people.
Alexander described how 25 police officers moved in after the 15-minute piece of theatre, which was performed to explain objections to sponsorship of the Olympics by companies such as Dow, BP and Rio Tinto.
Police sources confirmed that six individuals were arrested in Trafalgar Square for criminal damage. Alexander said the individuals were led away in handcuffs after green custard used in the show spilled on to the ground.
Three of those arrested were actors in the performance, the other three were in the process of cleaning up the custard, which had been poured over the actors.
Alexander said: “Dow, BP and Rio Tinto are spending millions to tell the public how sustainable they are. We did a 15-minute piece of theatre to reveal the truth and as a result of this piece of theatre 25 police officers turned up and six people were arrested. It is an Olympic-sized overreaction.”
The performance – entitled Greenwash Gold 2012 awards – involved three actors representing the three companies having the green custard poured over their heads.
It is understood the police believed the green substance was paint, but Alexander denied this.
“We spilt a little bit of the green custard on the square and were in the process of cleaning it up when the police arrived,” she said.
Kevin Smith of London Mining Network, which was involved in the performance, said: “It’s ridiculously heavy-handed policing to arrest people for public theatre. The authorities are going to extreme lengths to protect the tarnished reputations of controversial Olympic sponsors like Dow.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed seven people were arrested in Trafalgar Square on suspicion of criminal damage after reports of protesters “throwing” a green substance “believed to be custard”.
The seven, three women aged 35, 37 and 51 and four men aged 24, 45, 64 and 66 remain in custody in London police stations, he added.
Amnesty International to host Art Installation ‘Bhopal, A Silent Picture’ by Samar Jodha, 19-31st July•July 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment
From the 19th to the 31st July, Amnesty International UK will host ‘Bhopal, A Silent Picture’ by Samar Jodha, which is a 40 foot multimedia installation.
Find the installation on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bhopal-A-Silent-Picture/128599843835687
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/259039954210741/
The artist is Samar Jodha and he will be coming over to the UK for the launch of this exhibition.
The website for the exhibition is here.
The booklet for the exhibition is here.
This is ‘Bhopal, A Silent Picture’ in Mumbai:
The address of Amnesty UK’s Head Offices is The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA