How did Tom Hayden and the Port Huron Statement relate to Students for a Democratic Society?
Tom Hayden and the Port Huron Statement are connected to the Students for a Democratic Society because the statement was essentially the founding document or the manifesto of the SDS. This was a statement that was basically meant to tell the world what the SDS believed in. Hayden is connected to it because he was the person most responsible for writing it.
SDS was founded in 1960. It was the most important organization connected to the “new left” student activists who came to be so involved in the counterculture and the protests against the Vietnam War. The new left believed that the system in the US was inherently racist and that it was tilted in favor of the establishment. It felt that policies in the US were biased in favor of the rich and powerful and that the government was abdicating its responsibility to help the poor. They wanted to transform society and make it into what they saw as a society with more economic and racial justice. They also wanted a less aggressive foreign policy.
All of this was in the Port Huron Statement, making it the major statement of the SDS’s views.