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Anti-Vietnam war movement rises in Canada and U.S.

The Story


One by one, young men throw their draft cards into a large bag in Washington, D.C. As the bag becomes heavier and heavier their defiance grows stronger and cheers erupt from the antiwar crowd. Their message is clear -- we will not fight. Two years earlier, in 1965, the first combat troops arrived in Vietnam to curb what they believed was the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, and to retaliate against the attack on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin Crisis. The brutal and bloody war divides the nation. In Toronto, Americans who have already evaded the draft by moving to Canada march in an antiwar protest at City Hall. They receive supportive cheers from the crowd. A counter-movement also takes to the streets, however, and the two expect to clash over their separate notions of conscience. This CBC Television report documents the protest movements in Canada and the United States.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 23, 1967
Guest: Abraham Feinberg
Reporter: Bruce Rogers
Duration: 3:35

Did You know?


• A draft dodger, draft evader or draft resister is a person who avoids performing compulsory military service. A military deserter is a member of the armed forces who abandons his or her post without permission and has no intention of returning. Conscientious Objector status, which was difficult to obtain, allowed for people to forego military service based on a deep moral or religious belief in exchange for a fixed term of community service.

• The maximum penalty for refusing or evading induction in the United States was a $10,000 fine and a five-year sentence in a federal penitentiary.

• The draft dodgers first started to come to Canada in 1964 when American draft calls increased significantly. No precise immigration statistics exist because they entered the country as landed immigrants. They were not required to reveal whether they were evading the draft.

• On Aug. 2, 1964, North Vietnamese torpedo boats reportedly attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. The U.S. Congress accordingly approved the Gulf of Tonkin resolution which allowed for retaliation. By the end of 1965, more than 184,000 troops were stationed in Southeast Asia.


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