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how peace activists saved lives of soldiers

American peace activists during the Vietnam War were instrumental in saving the lives of American soldiers captured overseas.
"...I also learned a lot about the attitude of the North Vietnamese. I was surprised to hear that they did not consider the American people to be their enemy. Rather, they blamed the United States government, the military, and the industrial powers which profited from war and possible conquest. They were much aware of the opposition to the war in the United States, and they said that the courageous acts of American young people were responsible for saving the lives of captured American pilots.
"'You must understand,' Mr Vy told me, "that when a pilot is captured, he does not fall into the hands of disciplined soldiers; he is taken by ordinary people upon whom he has only a moment before been dropping bombs. The anger of these people is very great, and the only way that we have been able to persuade them not to harm the pilots is to tell them about the large number of young people in the United States who risk imprisonment and brutality in order to protest against such atrocities.'"
--Dick Gregory, in Up From Nigger, 1976, p. 180