Chicago Seven defendant Tom Hayden speaks at University of Washington on April 3, 1970.

  • By Dave Wilma
  • Posted 1/01/2001
  • Essay 2231
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On April 3, 1970, Chicago Seven defendant Tom Hayden (1939-2016) addresses approximately 2,000 persons at the University of Washington. Hayden was a co-founder of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and was indicted for his role in anti-Vietnam War protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

What Happened in the Sixties

He and his codefendants were convicted only of contempt of court, but were sentenced to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Hayden told his audience while out of jail on bail pending an appeal, "The trial was about what happened in the sixties. The real trial is going to be the trial of the next ten years." Hayden advocated a social revolution and "total slowdown -- with no exit -- no place for easy riders -- no place to run to" (The Seattle Times).

Hayden's appearance in Seattle was sponsored by the Radical Speakers Bureau and was organized by the Seattle Liberation Front.

Hayden's convictions were overturned and he was cleared in a second trial. He was elected to the California State Assembly from 1982 to 1992 and to the California State Senate from 1992 to 2000.


The Seattle Times, April 4, 1970, p. A-5; Tom Hayden, Reunion: A Memoir (New York: Random House, 1988), p. 458; Edmund Lee Henshaw; Who's Who in American Politics, 1999-2000, (New York: Bowker, 1999).
This essay was updated on October 31, 2016.

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