10:00 A.M. Monday, June 18, 2007
Federal Court of Appeals
500 Pearl Street
Southern District of New York

On June 18, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals in Manhattan, New York, for the Second Circuit will hear two appeals (Case Number 0-1953) concerning the issue of Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant that was sprayed multiple times over 5.5 million acres in south Vietnam from 1962-1971.  The hearing will take place at 10:00 am in the ceremonial courtroom at 500 Pearl Street.

On appeal in these cases are lawsuits brought by US veterans and Vietnamese nationals who allege harm from their exposure to Agent Orange and other poisonous herbicides manufactured by Dow, Monsanto and other chemical companies.  Studies conducted by the international scientific community show the association between exposure to the herbicides and health outcomes including cancer, reproductive illnesses, immune deficiency, endocrine deficiencies, nervous system damage, and other ill health effects and possible developmental disabilities with lower IQ and emotional problems in children.

“These chemical companies are responsible for producing an herbicide that contained excessive and avoidable amounts of a poisonous by product called dioxin, one of the most toxic chemicals known to mankind.”  This product has caused untold suffering and lasting harm to  the US veterans involved in the spraying and the Vietnamese, both combatants and non combatants.

Many US veterans have already been compensated by the chemical companies for diseases and harm caused to them by their exposure to Agent Orange as a result of a settlement in 1984. The Veterans Administration now automatically awards service connected disability to Vietnam veterans for over thirteen different health conditions  for over $1.5 billion per year.  The veterans who are still litigating are those whose condition was not diagnosed until after the settlement of the original Agent Orange cases in 1984.  Other countries including South Korea, New Zealand, Canada, and Great Britain, have also agreed to compensate their veterans.

The only group that remains without compensation are those who suffered the most damage from the effects of the spraying—the Vietnamese people.  American Vietnam veteran Dave Cline notes:  “It is time that the Vietnamese be compensated for the terrible damage done to them and their land from the use of these chemical weapons.”

Despite the 1907 Hague Convention, Geneva Protocol of 1925, the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, and the 1967 United Nations Chemical Warfare Convention—all of which prohibit the use of poison . . . calculated to cause unnecessary suffering and banning the use of chemical weapons,  even today in Iraq the United States continues to violate international rules of basic fairness and justice even in wartime.  It is time to hold accountable  those who produced the chemical and to give their day in court to those who were harmed.

New York City Rally

2007 Tour Highlights

Summation: June 28, 2007 and rest.

San Francisco, CA: 7 pm, Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at the Veterans War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness, room 223 organized by Veterans for Peace SF Bay, VAORRC and National Lawyers Guild.

Chicago, IL: 11:30 AM Monday, June 25, 2007: Press Conference at Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Wabash Plaza, organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, contact Bill Davis.

Chicago, IL: 7:00 pm – Sunday, June 24, 2007, dinner with Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Chicago, IL: 8:00 pm – Saturday, June 23, 2007: The Third National Assembly of United For Peace & Justice – An Evening of Solidarity: International Voices for Peace & Justice at Wyndham O’Hare Hotel, Rosemont, Illinois.

Midland, MI: “Agent Orange/Vietnam, Dioxin contamination: A Public Discussion” at Zauel Memorial Library, 3100 N. Center Road, Saginaw, 5:00 – 7:00 pm – Thursday, June 21, 2007 with Michelle Hurd Riddick, organized by the Lone Tree Council. The Midland Daily News.

Meeting with public health professionals, scientists and environmentalists: 5:30 pm – Tuesday, June 19, 2007 organized by Susan S. Schnall, certified professional in health care, RN, FACHE, NYU assistant adjunct professor, and fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. US Court of Appeals Hearing June 18 2007 with international support for the Vietnamese Agent Orange victims lawsuit against the U.S. chemical manufacturers … with a lot of press, AP, Reuters, TV Channel 4, 21, Newsday.

Vigil in San Francisco, by Veterans For Peace, Chapter 69… See a pictorial report by Jeff Paterson.

Actions in Paris, France by Le Collectif Vietnam Dioxin… See more at Une Bougie pour les victimes de l’AO

Actions was held in San Francisco, New York, Portland OR, and counting, across the country, in Paris, France and in Hattingen, Germany.

“End Vietnam’s Air War,” by Danielle Trussoni, in New York Times Opinion, June 18, 2007.

Vietnam’s Agent Orange Survivors in mass at Riverside Church and Church of San Romero – Sunday, June 17, 2007: 11:30 am & 12:30 PM.

NYC: Vietnam’s Agent Orange Survivors   – 6:30 pm – Saturday, June 16, 2007 at Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center/1199 SEIU (310 West 43rd St), New York. Dave Cline offered Mr. Nguyen Van Quy his purple heart.  

Meeting with U.S. Representatives Jim McDermott (WA) and John Conyers, Jr. (D – MI): 4:30 pm – Thursday, June 14, 2007 at the Judiciary Building Library, Washington DC.
At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Washington DC): Church Center of the United Nations: Vietnam’s Agent Orange Survivors – 1:00 pm – Wednesday, June 13, 2007, 777 UN Plaza, New York, organized by Doug Hostetter.

Meeting at Church Center of the UN. Credit Nguyen Thanh Tuan.

TV report by CBS 5 at the San Francisco International Airport, California, June 10, 2007 7:46 a.m.

Vietnam’s Agent Orange Survivors – 7:00 pm – Sunday, June 10, 2007 at the Veteran’s Building, Room 219, 401 Van Ness Ave @ McAllister, San Francisco.

Nguyen Thi Hong Condolences

Merle E. Ratner, on behalf of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign

July 21, 2007
New York City