National Tour Heads to Various Cities and NY Court Hearing
The International Committee is co-sponsoring a national tour of Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims to build solidarity for a June hearing in the case against U.S. chemical companies on behalf of the victims. The tour will visit various cities and end with the June 18th hearing at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in NY. This case is being brought by Guild lawyers. The Issue Three million Vietnamese suffer the effects of chemical defoliants used by the United States during the Vietnam War. In order to deny food and protection to those deemed to be “the enemy,” the U.S. defoliated the forests of Vietnam with the deadly chemicals Agent Orange, White, Blue, Pink, Green and Purple. Agent Orange, which was contaminated with trace amounts of TCDD Dioxin – the most toxic chemical known to science – disabled and sickened soldiers, civilians and several generations of their offspring on two continents.
In addition to the millions of Vietnamese still affected by this deadly poison, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers are also affected. It has caused birth defects in hundreds of thousands of children in Vietnam and the U.S. – that is, the second and third generations of those who were exposed to Agent Orange decades ago. Medical evidence indicates that certain cancers (for example, soft tissue non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), diabetes (type II), and in children spina bifida and other birth defects, are attributable to the exposure.
The deadly mark left by Agent Orange on the natural environment of Vietnam includes the destruction of mangrove forests and the long-term poisoning of soil and crops.
Surviving Vietnam veterans in the U.S., after many years of organized action, have finally achieved limited compensation from our government for some illnesses they suffer due to Agent Orange poisoning. While this struggle continues, the three million surviving Vietnamese victims received no such compensation, nor any humanitarian aid from the U.S. government. Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC) The Guild has joined with VAORRC and other groups in calling for its members to organize actions around the country on or before June 18th to draw attention to the issue and the hearing. The VAORRC has been organizing around this issue for years. Please see their website for more detailed information.
If you are interested in organizing an action in your area to highlight this issue as the hearing approaches, please call Merle Ratner 212-420-1586 or email merle_ratner (at) hotmail.com