Interview with Tom Hayden
QUESTION 20
INTERVIEWER:

…GOVERNMENT PROTECTION. AND I WANT YOU TO BE ABLE TELL ME THEN WHEN YOU BEGAN TO REALIZE THAT THESE THINGS WERE NOT, THEY WERE NOT THERE TO, GOING TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT YOU…

Tom Hayden:

Friends, these are not your friends, right. Well there was a suspicion that uh, the FBI were not our friends in the South, uh, uh, certainly that came from the top. The views of J. Edgar Hoover uh, were that Dr. Martin Luther King was a Communist and a dangerous agitator who ought not to be uh, honored or respected and that must have filtered down. In addition, uh, the FBI had friendly relationships with a lot of the local law enforcement in the South that we were directly confronting. It came home uh, most dramatically to me after being beaten up in uh, Southern Mississippi talking to the uh, FBI agents who came to interview me in Atlanta, uh, myself and Paul. It appeared that uh, they must have thought we were from outer space. Uh, we certainly thought that, that uh, that they were because it appeared that, that they thought that we were the cause of this problem and they were looking for uh, an explanation for our behavior. When, uh, what I thought was since they were federal law enforcement officers, they ought to arrest the people who broke the law by violating our rights and beating us up. Uh, there was no communication, uh, that the uh, perspectives were that far apart.