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Navin Shah, London assembly member for Brent and Harrow, wants Dow Chemicals to be dropped

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A Brent politician took part in a rally calling for a major sponsor of the Olympic Games to be scrapped amid claims it is disrespectful to thousands of victims of a gas disaster.

Navin Shah, London assembly member for Brent and Harrow, joined campaign group Drop Dow Now at the protest in Trafalgar Square yesterday (Wednesday).

Campaigners are calling for Olympic bosses to re-think the decision to have Dow Chemicals as one of the sponsors of the games.

In 2001 Dow Chemicals, purchased Union Carbide Indian Limited, who were in charge of the Bhopal gas site in India, when the Bhopal gas leak struck in 1984.

More than 20,000 people died as a result of the leak and protestors have claimed the sponsorship is disrespectful to them and the thousands of residents who are still feeling the after effects.

During the protest the Labour politician lay on the floor under a sheet reading ‘Justice for Bhopal.’

He said: “I am deeply disappointed with the attitude of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and the IOC for failing to do anything about this issue.

“As campaigners we are committed to continuing this movement to get rid of toxic organisations such as Dow from what are supposed to be sustainable and ethical worldwide Games.

“We will continue to fight for justice for the victims in Bhopal.”

The protest was also mirrored by similar actions in India, Canada and the USA.

However, a spokesman for the, LOCOG said Dow was appointed following a “thorough and competitive procurement process”.

He added: “We assessed all bids on the ability to deliver a sustainable solution and Dow met this criteria by some distance.

“Dow is a financially sound, well run international company with over 700 employees across 14 sites in the UK and has been a worldwide sponsor of the Olympic movement since 2010.”

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