Tom Hayden—R.I.P.

Back in the days of my youth there were special people if you were into the protest scene…..Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden…..among others.

It all began with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and their Huron Statement and the movement ballooned from there…..into a nationwide protest against war….where have all the leaders gone?

They were the backbone of the anti-war activism…..we took our cue from their examples……slowly our “heroes” from those days are dying off and there seems to be NO one capable of taking their place as the leaders of a movement……

Sadly Tom Hayden has passed on….he will be missed…..

Famed ’60s anti-war activist Tom Hayden, whose name became forever linked with the celebrated Chicago 7 trial, Vietnam War protests, and ex-wife actress Jane Fonda, has died. He was 76. He died on Sunday after a long illness, said his wife, actress Barbara Williams, noting that he suffered a stroke in 2015. Hayden, once denounced as a traitor by his detractors, overcame his past and won election to the California Assembly and Senate, where he served for almost two decades as a progressive force on such issues as the environment and education. He was the only one of the radical Chicago 7 defendants to win such distinction in the mainstream political world, the AP reports.

In 1960, while a student at the University of Michigan, Hayden was involved in the formation of Students for a Democratic Society, then dedicated to desegregating the South. In 1968, he helped organize anti-war demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that turned violent and resulted in the notorious and circus-like Chicago 7 trial. Hayden and three others were convicted of crossing state lines to incite riot. The convictions were later overturned, and an official report deemed the violence “a police riot.” “Rarely, if ever, in American history has a generation begun with higher ideals and experienced greater trauma than those who lived fully the short time from 1960 to 1968,” he wrote in the essay “Streets of Chicago.” Read more about Hayden, who was married to Fonda for 17 years, here.

Good-bye old friend….Rest In Peace.

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11 thoughts on “Tom Hayden—R.I.P.

      1. I remember the SDS. I remember the Weather Organization. I remember the Symbionese Liberation Army. I had a friend in the Black Muslims. I was a double-knit, bell-bottom-wearing Flower Child too … but it’s all dead. The whole ideology is dead and most of those who lived it are dead or dying. As for me, I have moved on. I kind of like the concept of Life and Living for as long as I can have either.

  1. I used to listen to him speak at UCB during the People’s Park events in 1968 and 1969. He was a charismatic speaker, and always exuded vitality of spirit. What I will miss is the integrity his life demonstrated, as well as that of many of his peers in the Movement(s). I echo your sentiment; he’ll be missed, as will the integrity seemingly less present in today’s world, altogether.

    R.I.P., Tom….

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