22 November 2103    From Ellen Komp          Tom Hayden appeared at the Oakland meeting of the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club last night, speaking mostly about foreign affairs. 

He mentioned that he’d met with Loni Hancock that day to discuss the prison hunger strike and urged people to contact Jerry Brown to ask him to abolish solitary confinement. He said some had been kept for 20-30 years in solitary. 

Pointing to the unorganized groundswell that stopped a potential war in Syria, he said a base of people “who are becoming a majority in this country are cultivating a civil society and a growth of consciousness.”  He added, “That’s how marijuana legalization is going to happen; state by state.” 

He tasked East Bay residents to “become broader than Berkeley.” “When was the last time you produced a national visionary?” he asked, adding, “What we do here locally can reverberate.” He pointed to the election of New York City mayor De Blasio and Occupy’s involvement in that win, and noted the huge coverage the LA Times gave to a Socialist being elected to Seattle city council.

“Don’t count on LA,” the SoCal resident said. “We await the next uprising in the Bay Area.” He’s tired of lukewarm Democrats, saying,

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren

“Let’s have Elizabeth Warren as a benchmark.” He said Snowden and Assange “remind me of the freedom riders.” 

In answer to a question, he spoke of the health care bill, which started with a broad progressive vision and “in getting it we got a lot of what we don’t want.”  He pointed out that health care was left out of social security when it passed, and it’s taken 70 years to get it.  Health care has inspired a civil war, he said, and 25 states are now behind enemy lines. 

Hayden appeared at the 2012 NORML conference in LA. See http://www.canorml.org/news/normlconference20 and “Old Home Week at the NORML conference” in O’S.