The new award-winning documentary “The People vs. Agent Orange” is now screening in theaters near you! The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is proud to sponsor limited nationwide screenings ahead of the national premiere on PBS, forthcoming in summer 2021. CELDF is sponsoring screenings in California, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. (Details below.)

The inspiring and enraging film follows women-led resistance to the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war, and its use in Oregon, following the war. The film tells a story of the inhumane war economy and its homecoming through the pesticide industry. The viewer witnesses intimate behind-the-scenes access to grassroots resistance in Oregon and Vietnam and gut-wrenching first-person accounts of sacrifice and resolve. The film, directed by Kate Taverna and Alan Adelson, features Carol Van Strum, an active participant in Community Rights and Rights of Nature organizing in Oregon.

As part of her activism, Van Strum has supported lawmaking efforts in Lincoln County, Oregon to ban aerial spraying and recognize the rights of ecosystems. She is the human spokesperson for the Siletz River watershed in active litigation coming out of a challenge to the aerial spray ban Lincoln County enacted in 2017. That law, drafted with help from CELDF, successfully banned aerial pesticide spraying for two years and recognized the rights of local ecosystems. (CELDF recently briefed that case for the Oregon appeals court.)

“During our many years of investigative filmmaking, community rights and Rights of Nature emerged as a primary hope amidst a half-century of catastrophe. Carol Van Strum says in the film: ‘We have the right to defend ourselves from being poisoned.’ But that right has been grabbed away from communities by heavily-lobbied state legislatures and state ‘preemption.’ We could not find a more appropriate sponsor to present ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’ than CELDF,” says Alan Adelson, producer/director of “The People vs. Agent Orange.”

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