Tom Hay­den, ac­tivist known for Viet­nam protests, dies at 76

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES - By Linda Deutsch and Tarek Ha­mada

SANTA MON­ICA, CAL­I­FOR­NIA >> Tom Hay­den, a ‘60s an­ti­war ac­tivist whose name be­came for­ever linked with the cel­e­brated Chicago 7 trial, Viet­nam War protests and his ex-wife Jane Fonda, has died. He was 76.

He died on Sun­day af­ter a long ill­ness, said his wife, Bar­bara Wil­liams, not­ing that he suf­fered a stroke in 2015.

Hay­den, once de­nounced as a traitor by his de­trac­tors, 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.

He re­mained an en­dur­ing voice against war and spent his later years as a pro­lific writer and lec­turer ad­vo­cat­ing for re­form of Amer­ica’s po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions.

Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti praised Hay­den. “A po­lit­i­cal gi­ant and dear friend has passed. Tom Hay­den fought harder for what he be­lieved than just about any­one I have known. RIP, Tom,” Garcetti said Sun­day night on his Twit­ter ac­count.

Hay­den wrote or edited 19 books, in­clud­ing “Re­u­nion,” a mem­oir of his path to protest and a ru­mi­na­tion on the po­lit­i­cal up­heavals of the ‘60s.

“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.

Hay­den was there at the start. In 1960, while a stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan at Ann Ar­bor, he was in­volved in the for­ma­tion of Stu­dents for a Demo­cratic So­ci­ety (SDS), then ded­i­cated to de­seg­re­gat­ing the South. By 1962, when he be­gan draft­ing the land­mark Port Huron State­ment, SDS and Hay­den were ded­i­cated to chang­ing the world.

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