JP Forum slate features famed activists, Olympics critic

Update: Tom Hayden has canceled the appearance reported below after suffering a stroke. The other events remain on the schedule.

The Jamaica Plain Forum lecture series is bringing several famous activists and a prominent Olympics critic to JP over the next three weeks.

The speakers include: 1960s left-wing activist Tom Hayden; journalist Chris Hedges; “simple living” advocate Vicki Robin; and economist Andrew Zimbalist.

Hayden will appear May 29, 7 p.m., at First Church in Monument Square to discuss his book “Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters.”

Hayden was a legendary and sometimes notorious radical activist as a founder of Students for a Democratic Society; a Vietnam War protester alongside his former wife, Jane Fonda; and a defendant acquitted of conspiracy to disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention in the infamous “Chicago Eight” trial.

He later became a California state legislator and now heads the Peace & Justice Resource Center.

According to JP Forum, Hayden’s new book connects his activism in the U.S. with Cuba’s political changes.

“With U.S.-Cuba relations changing by the day, we thought it would be great to host Tom Hayden in Jamaica Plain for a community conversation,” JP Forum Coordinator Tracy Bindel told the Gazette.

Chris Hedges will appear June 2, 7 p.m., at First Church. A columnist for the website Truthdig, Hedges was part of a New York Times reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize for terrorism coverage, and is the author of several books, notably including “War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.” He is also known for his activism in the Occupy movement.

Hedges will speak on the topic “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” arguing that we are in a new era of revolution.

Vicki Robin will appear June 8, 7 p.m., at First Baptist Church on Centre Street. She was coauthor of the influential 1992 book “Your Money or Your Life,” which helped generate the movement of people “simplifying” their lifestyles to save money and reduce environmental impacts.

Robin will discuss her recent book “Blessing the Hands That Feed Us,” about the locally sourced food movement and her experience attempting to eat foods sourced within a 10-mile radius for her home.

Andrew Zimbalist will appear June 15, 6:30 p.m., at First Church. An economics professor at Smith College in Northhampton, he specializes in the financing of sports stadiums and events. He recently published a book called “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.”

Zimbalist has emerged as a prominent critic of Boston’s 2024 Summer Olympics bid. He will speak on the topic “Risky Business or Economic Boost?: The Real Cost of the Boston Olympics.”

For more information about JP Forum, see

Activist and author Tom Hayden. (Courtesy Photo)

Activist and author Tom Hayden. (Courtesy Photo)

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