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Draft Dodgers: Back to America!

No one expected the Vietnam War to play out as it did. With thousands of young men fighting to the death overseas, another group of American sons fled their homeland and journeyed north to Canada. As the battle raged on and the antiwar movement divided the United States, draft dodgers and deserters struggled to forge new lives for themselves. Seeking sanctuary and the opportunity to make a difference, they changed their adopted country unquestionably. (Note: Some clips contain explicit language.)

In this corner: heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali -- an antiwar icon who is imprisoned for his refusal to serve. In the other: cowardly draft dodgers running to Canada. This is the fight Herb Gott establishes in his CBC Radio column. Change doesn't happen easily, he suggests. If the draft dodgers are truly committed to fighting the war, they should stay and fight for change like Ali, even if that means jail and martyrdom.
. Many draft dodgers felt they had to hide their nationality in order to secure jobs and housing in Canada. A 1968 Gallup poll found that 51 per cent of Canadians were opposed to allowing any draft evaders into the country.
Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Nov. 3, 1967
Guest(s):
Commentator: Herb Gott
Duration: 4:14

Last updated: February 21, 2014

Page consulted on February 21, 2014

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