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Anti-Dow Olympic protest

Camapigners against Dow Chemical's sponsorship of the Olympics are holding an international day of protest. Demonstrators in London have held a 'die-in' by the Olympic Clock in Trafalgar Square.

Campaigners in India, America and Canada will join the global day of action which coincides with celebrations marking the 30-day countdown to the games.

Campaigners say it's not too late to drop the Dow-sponsored wrap around the Olympic stadium. Credit: ITN

The world's second largest chemical manufacturer is funding a £7m fabric wrap (picture above) for the Olympic stadium in East London.

The campaign group Drop Dow Now are calling for company's sponsorship to be dropped due to Dow's connections to the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984.

Dow bought Union Carbide, the company which owned the factory in Bhopal when the gas leak occurred, in 2001.

Campaigners say the chemical gas leak and its fallout have killed 25,000 people, and that local people continue to be affected.

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Protesters wave placards outside this morning's press conference

Protesters called for Olympic organisers to sever their sponsorship agreement with Dow Chemical, as the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and LOCOG (London 2012 Organising Committee) held a press conference this morning.

They are against the deal, because of the company's links with an Indian industrial disaster in 1984.

An estimated 15,000 people died and tens of thousands were maimed when poisonous gas leaked from Bhopal's Union Carbide plant. Union Carbide was later bought by Dow Chemical.

But Dow has always maintained it did not own or operate the Bhopal plant and that legal claims regarding the gas leak were resolved when Union Carbide paid £303 million in compensation for those killed or injured.

Why are protesters against Dow Chemical's sponsorship?

Campaigners are angry about Dow Chemical's association with London 2012, because of the company's links with an Indian industrial disaster in 1984.

An estimated 15,000 people died and tens of thousands were maimed when poisonous gas leaked from Bhopal's Union Carbide plant.

Union Carbide was later bought by Dow Chemical.

Bhopal victims' rights groups say that allowing Dow to sponsor the £7m fabric wrap on the Olympic stadium would give undue publicity to a company that is refusing to clean up the toxic contamination of soil and groundwater.

But Dow has always maintained it did not own or operate the Bhopal plant and that legal claims regarding the gas leak were resolved when Union Carbide paid £303 million in compensation for those killed or injured.

Denis Oswald from the International Olympic Committee said: "We realise the tragedy that Bhopal was and we have a lot of sympathy for what happened but we know that Dow was not the owner of the company and they were not running the plant at the time of this accident.

"Since then they have been tested in court twice and it is why we feel comfortable about this relationship."

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"It will be 10 years before Olympic legacy can be judged"

Our Political Correspondent Simon Harris is at the London 2012 press conference.

A delegation from the International Olympic Committee is visiting for the last time before the games, to check on the preparations.

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IOC's Gilbert Felli says it will be 10 years before the sporting legacy can be judged. @londontonight

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London 1012 will sell 1m non-football tickes in the final round. @londontonight

Police remove Olympic protesters

Police have removed protesters, who are campaigning against Dow Chemical's sponsorship of the Olympics, from New Street Square.

They had gathered outside a building where an official Olympic press conference was due to take place.

Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, Navin Shah, was among the demonstrators. He spoke to our Political Correspondent Simon Harris.

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