Distinguished academic Noam Chomsky is among a group of high-profile international figures, including British MPs and former Olympians, who have written to Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), urging him to drop Dow Chemical Company as a sponsor of the London Games because of its link to the 1984 Union Carbide Bhopal gas tragedy.
Under a £7 million deal, Dow is to sponsor a fabric wrap that will surround the Olympic stadium in East London.
Barry Gardiner, MP Chair of Labour Friends of India, who organised the letter said: “All across the world people have signed up to kick Dow Chemicals out of London 2012. From Olympic gold medallists and Bollywood legends, to artists, actors and politicians, extraordinary people have made it clear that Dow must clean up its legacy in Bhopal before it tries to clean up its reputation on the back of the London Olympics”.
Signatories include former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Conservative MP Priti Patel, deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes, actor Martin Sheen and Gold medal winning Olympians from India and Pakistan.
Prof.Chomsky said: “The people of Bhopal have struggled to enforce accountability for one of the worst corporate crimes in history, and to gain some compensation for their suffering. They have every right to expect us to join them in their courageous efforts.”
Mr. Livingstone said it was “shocking that almost three decades after one of the world's worst industrial tragedies, water supplies in the area still remain contaminated with toxic chemicals."
Lord Coe defended the decision to award the contract to Dow saying it was taken after “very carefully” considering all the issues.
This is the second time that campaigners have written to Lord Coe protesting the decision.