Born Thomas Emmet Hayden on December 11, 1939 in Detroit, Tom was driven to activism during his college years and was one of the initiators of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)—an organization that became influential during the anti-war movement in the Vietnam era.
Tom Hayden played a major role in the protests outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. He was a member of the notorious “Chicago Eight” who were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and incitement to riot. Hayden and four others were convicted of crossing state lines to incite a riot, but the charges were reversed on appeal.
Later in his quest to change the system, Hayden became a California politician running for and winning seats on the California Assembly(1982–1992) and the California State Senate (1992–2000).
In his later years, Hayden, continuing in his political activism, was the director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center in Culver City, California. He wrote regularly for the Peace and Justice Resource Center, posting his final article on July 25, 2016. The piece, entitled, “Trump’s Only Path Forward,” speaks to the unlikelihood of a Trump victory stating:
Donald Trump’s campaign depends on whether there are more terrorist attacks and police shootings in America. Such dire scenarios still may not be enough to win over a nervous electorate in November, but could push some swing voters toward his program of law and order at home and abroad.
You can read it and more of his archived articles by clicking here.
Tom Hayden also contributed to the LA Progressive calling it a “beacon of light in the progressive community of Los Angeles.”
We lost a progressive champion who dedicated his life to working for the people. Rest in peace Tom Hayden.
Dick & Sharon