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Tom Hayden on ‘60s movements as catalyst for Obama presidency


“Without the ‘60s there would be no Obama presidency,” states Tom Hayden.


Portland, OR (February 22, 2010)—Tom Hayden will speak in the Reed College Vollum lecture hall on Friday, February 26 at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public. Hayden is principal organizer of Students for a Democratic Society and author of its founding manifesto, the Port Huron Statement. Hayden gained national awareness as an SDS activist during the demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and for his subsequent arrest on federal conspiracy charges as one of the Chicago Seven.

Following his radical years, Hayden served in the California state legislature from 1982 to 2000. He remains a leading voice for ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, eradicating sweatshops, and saving the environment.

Hayden has authored several books. In his most recent, The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama, he argues that the political career of Barack Obama would not be possible without the social movements of the ‘60s. “Without the ‘60s there would be no Obama presidency,” states Hayden.

The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama analyzes the progression of historical events from the ‘60s to Obama’s presidency, making the case that the same social movements that demanded changes in voting rights laws and helped change mores on issues such as interracial marriage ultimately lead to a social climate in which Obama could be elected President. 

Hayden also argues that without the same type of social pressure that helped change civil rights laws, Obama’s more progressive initiatives are doomed to die. “Only a radical populism will make his economic recovery, green jobs and health care reform come to fruition,” said Hayden.

Hayden will speak in the Reed College Vollum lecture hall on Friday, February 26 at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Contact:
Kevin Myers, Reed spokesperson, 503/517-7815