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Tom Hayden, 1960s anti-war activist, dies at 76

Update: October, 25/2016 - 15:00
Author Tom Hayden poses before signing copies of his book "Ending the War in Iraq" at Book Soup June 24, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. - AFP/VNS File Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Tom Hayden, a peace activist whose radical views contributed to the protest movement against the American war in Việt Nam during the 1960s, has died at the age of 76.

Barbara Williams, Hayden’s wife, said her husband died on Sunday night at the UCLA Medical Centre in Santa Monica, California, after battling illness for a long time.

Hayden, who served in the California state assembly and Senate for nearly two decades, died from complications related to a stroke he had last year.

Liberal leaders were quick in paying tributes to Hayden.

“A political giant and dear friend has passed,” Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, wrote on his Twitter account. “Tom Hayden fought harder for what he believed than just about anyone I have known.”

Alan Spencer, who was recruited by Hayden to write debate material in the 1980s, praised his former boss, saying "he shook up the system, made an impact."

Hayden taught at many well-known universities, including the University of California in Los Angeles, Scripps College, Pitzer College, Occidental College and the Harvard Institute of Politics.

He was also a prolific author and had edited and written some 20 books. His last book is due to be published in March.

Nation magazine editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote “At a time when we need to revive the peace movement, Tom Hayden’s (forthcoming) book ’Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement’ will be vital.”

In the 1960s at the height of the American war in Việt Nam, Hayden and a group of radical activists paid a visit to Việt Nam. Two years later, he participated in a conference at Brastislava, Slovakia, denouncing the crimes of the United States and demanding peace for Việt Nam.

Hayden was a member of the so-called "Chicago 7," convicted on federal charges of conspiracy and incitement to riot over the anti-American War protests at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. He was eventually cleared of all charges.

He was also co-author of the book on the catastrophic American war in Việt Nam titled "The other site," which called on the US government to withdraw its troops from Việt Nam.

He participated in anti-war talks and organised an exhibition on propaganda posters and films about Indochina in the 1972-1975 period. He also urged the US Congress to cut off funding for the war in Việt Nam.

In December 2007, Hayden returned to Việt Nam and was awarded the honour medal by the Vietnamese government for his contribution towards the anti-war movement in the country. – VNS/Agencies

US peace activist Tom Hayden, who was married to Jane Fonda from 1973 to 1990, meets refugees during a 1982 visit to the Lebanese coastal town of Saida. – AFP/VNA File Photo

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