John Tunney Senator Who Worked For Environmental Protection And Civil Rights Dies At 83

The trip ended with a detour to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where an emissary of the Viet Cong, the communist force fighting the U.S., had offered to release three American prisoners of war to Hayden. Initially uneasy, he agreed to the plan. He met the POWs on an airport tarmac, and they boarded a Czechoslovakian plane bound for Beirut. Hayden accompanied the servicemen to the U.S. Embassy.

Nearly two decades later, one of the POWs, Jimmy Jackson, would travel to Sacramento to support Hayden when Republicans were trying to oust him from the Legislature for what they alleged was his treason during the war.

The climax of Hayden’s antiwar work came in 1968, when he and fellow radical Rennie Davis served as co-directors of protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

The nation was torn by social upheaval as the August convention approached. The assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in April had sparked urban riots. Two months later, a gunman killed New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles on the night he won California’s Democratic presidential primary.

As protests were spreading across college campuses nationwide, Hayden joined the student occupation of buildings at Columbia University in Manhattan. Police stormed the campus with tear gas. FBI brass in Washington berated local agents in a May 1968 cable for failing to track Hayden at the Columbia revolt. “The investigation of Hayden, as one of the key leaders of the new left movement, is of prime importance to the Bureau,” they wrote.

In Chicago, Hayden and Davis tried for months to get protest permits from Mayor Richard J. Daley’s administration, to no avail. “I told a New York audience that they should come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood,” Hayden recalled in his memoir.

>Tom Hayden, the delegate, looks back at Tom Hayden, the demonstrator
> Mark Lacey

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