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Legendary Antiwar Activist and SDS Organizer Tom Hayden Dies at 76

StoryOctober 24, 2016
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Tom Hayden has died at the age of 76. Hayden spent decades shaping movements against war and for social justice. He was the principal author of the Port Huron Statement, the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS. The statement advocated for participatory democracy and helped launch the student movement of the 1960s. In 1968, Hayden became one of the so-called Chicago 8 and was convicted of crossing state lines to start a riot after he helped organize protests against the Vietnam War outside the Democratic National Convention. We play an excerpt of an address by Hayden speaking about the antiwar movement he helped lead.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We end today on the death of Tom Hayden, who died at the age of 76. He suffered a stroke last year. Tom Hayden spent decades shaping movements against war and for social justice. He was principal author of the Port Huron Statement, the founding document for Students for a Democratic Society, SDS. The statement, advocating for participatory democracy, helped launch the student movement of the '60s. In ’68, Hayden became one of the so-called Chicago 8, was convicted of crossing state lines to start a riot when he helped organize protests against the Vietnam War outside the Democratic convention. We're going to turn to a clip of Tom Hayden now.

TOM HAYDEN: So we can never forget that, of course, it was the Vietnamese resistance and their sacrifice that led to our awakening, along with the civil rights movement at home. It began with handfuls of young people, black students who led Freedom Rides, sit-ins. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was the first to resist the war. Julian Bond, who’s sitting here, was rejected after being elected to the Georgia Legislature. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing titles. It also began with the Vietnam Day Committee in Berkeley, growing out of teach-ins, out of SDS, that called the first march, the draft resistance. There had never been a peace movement like the one in 1965 that arose out of the civil rights movement and came just weeks after Selma. At least 29 would die at the hands of police while demonstrating for peace.

I’d like here to introduce Luis Rodriguez and Rosalio Muñoz and Jorge Mariscal from the Chicano Moratorium, where four died, including Gustav [Montag], Lyn Ward, José Diaz and Rubén Salazar. Rubén Salazar was an early Juan González. Rubén Salazar was a great reporter for the Los Angeles Times who served as a journalist in Vietnam before he started critical reporting on the streets of Los Angeles. And he was shot by the sheriff’s deputies.

AMY GOODMAN: That is Tom Hayden, remembering the people who came before him. And we will remember Tom Hayden tomorrow on Democracy Now!, who has died at the age of 76. To see his speeches and interviews, go to democracynow.org.

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