Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tom Hayden, at UCI, Looks Back and Ahead

Hayden as professor. To listen to the audio of Hayden's talk, click . Presented with the kind permission of Tom Hayden as another Subversity Online podcast. All photos © Daniel C. Tsang 2011.
60's activist Tom Hayden ventured on to the UC Irvine campus late last month, to espouse his views to a new audience of largely undergraduates organized by graduate student Alfredo Carlos and Social Ecology Prof. Rodolfo D. Torres.

A former California State Senator, Hayden spoke about "Economic Democracy and Alternative Futures" 29 November 2011 at UCI's Humanities Gateway, at an event sponsored by the Chican@/Latin@ Graduate Student Collective.

Hayden, a one-time Chicago 7 defendant who had authored the Students for a Democratic Society's manifesto, the Port Huron Statement, while a student at the University of Michigan, sounded more reformist than perhaps some old Sixties radicals would have liked. He said one needs take a long view of social movements, given that success may be elusive for decades, even for 80 years.

A pensive Hayden
He called the Dream Act undergraduates the "bravest" and said the cause of undocumented students in California is so "popular" that politicians like Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lt.Gov. Gavin Newsom could take on that campaign with nothing to lose.

He said the "Sixties were stolen" by assassinations, of JFK, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers. With the dreams stolen from them, "no wonder people become anarchists..."

But before his hour and half discourse on the Sixties through Obama ended, he called on the "fine" dean of the UCI Law School (without naming Erwin Chemerinsky) to have UCI law faculty conduct classes there debating the concept of corporations as people having First Amendment rights to spread propaganda. He avowed that such courses could well "fire up" students and spread across the nation, leading to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the notorious 2010 case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Hayden answers questions from the audience

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