For Immediate Release


Whitney Black (803)466-3786;

The Yes Men

Dow Throws a Dismal Party, Few Attend

Underattended "Run for Water" plagued by death, zombies, and dozens of "Dow spokesmen"; truth seems to run free

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Bucolic Prospect park in Brooklyn, NY played host to a
bizarre spectacle on Sunday, as a dramatically under-attended Dow-sponsored
for Water"
was infiltrated and turned upside down by hundreds
furious activists,
including a hundred dressed as Dow spokespeople.

New Yorkers who came to the park expecting a light run followed by a
concert found themselves unwitting extras in a macabre
and chaotic scene
as runners keeled over
, Dow-branded grim
participants, and a hundred fake Dow representatives harangued other
protesters and and handed out literature
that explained Dow's greenwashing program in frank detail.

The actions called attention to Dow's toxic legacy in
places like India
(the Bhopal
Vietnam (Agent
) and
Midland Michigan (Dioxin
), and to the absurdity of a company with serious water
issues all over the world sponsoring the Live
Earth Run For Water

After race cancellations
in London, Milan, Berlin, and Sweden, on-site Dow brand managers were in
damage-control mode. But their job was made harder by the hundred
fake "Dow" spokespeople who loudly but clumsily proclaimed Dow's
("Our race! Our earth!" and "Run for water! Run for your life!"), spoke
with many runners, screamed at the other protesters, passed out
beautifully-produced literature,
and all in all looked a whole lot better than the real Dow reps, who
seemed eager to make themselves scarce.

"I don't know what's going on here," said Tracey Von Sloop, a Queens
who attended the race. "All I know is these people are both crazy, and
is f*ing sick. I'm outta here."

The event was the latest blow to Dow's greenwashing efforts, the most
visible element of which is the "Human
multi-media advertising campaign, one of the most
and successful, marketing efforts in recent history. It even won an "Effie
for the most effective corporate advertising campaign in

"Effective," perhaps -- but also completely misleading. To name just a few
examples of Dow's
water-related issues: Dow refuses to clean up the groundwater
in Bhopal, India
, site of the largest industrial disaster in human
history, committed by Dow's fully-owned subsidiary, Union Carbide. As a
result, children continue to be born there with debilitating birth
Dow has also dumped hundreds of millions of pounds of toxic chemical
byproducts into wetlands
of Louisiana
, and has even poisoned
its own backyard
, leaving record levels of dioxins downriver from
global headquarters in Midland, Michigan.

"We thought it must be a joke when we first heard that Dow Chemical
Company was sponsoring a run for clean water," said Yes Woman Whitney
Black. "Sadly, it was not. One of the world's worst polluters trying to
greenwash its image instead of taking responsibility for drinking water
ecosystems it has poisoned around the world? What an awfully unfunny way
start off Earth Week. We decided the event needed a little comic

Irony was piled on irony throughout the race, which Dow absurdly
was going to be "the largest solutions-based initiative
aimed at solving the global water crisis in history. At one point,
organizers were caught
on tape
dramatically throwing
out excess
water left over because of an embarrassingly low turnout.

Groups organizing the action included the Center for Health, Environment and Justice,
the International
Campaign for Justice
in Bhopal
, New York Whale and Dolphin Action League, the Vietnam Agent
Orange Relief and
Responsibility Campaign
, the Wetlands Activism Collective,
Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, Kids For A Better
, The Yes
, and hundreds of
assorted volunteers, activists and mischief makers.


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article

More in: