In ‘Remember the dead – fight for the living’, I reported on Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the ‘artistic wrap’ around the Olympic stadium in Stratford, in east London.
I also reported the moving speech by Sanjay Verma from the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. Subsequently, Amnesty International UK (AIUK) launched a campaign calling on Olympics head, Lord Coe, to apologise for this insensitive act. On 7 June, the AIUK website reported that Coe’s response had been to block Amnesty’s direct email service.As Amnesty points out, the fight for justice for the victims of the Bhopal disaster was made much harder this year, when the London Olympic Organising Committee (LOCOG) said that, in defiance of Amnesty’s extensive research, it didn’t accept that Dow Chemical bears responsibility for the Bhopal disaster. This was a slap in the face for victims of the disaster, who are 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.1
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.
It’s not too late.
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.
1. To find out how you can help, the AIUK website: https://www.amnesty.org.uk