Tom Hayden: Man of Principles

Posted By: November 01, 2016


A champion of the Mac Bride Principles

CAPITOL HILL. Wednesday, November 2, 2016—— Tom Hayden (76) who died on October 23 will not only be remembered as the 1960s and 1970s peace activist, but also as an ardent 


This according to Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus.

Fr. Mc Manus said: “I had the honor of getting to know Tom quite well through our campaign for the Mac Bride Principles— a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Northern Ireland. Tom was a most impressive man. As a Californian Assemblyman (1982-92), and as a State Senator (1992-2002) he – along with Senator John Burton— played a key role in having our Mac Bride Principles Bill passed into Californian State law. I testified along with Tom, and other Mac Bride activists before the California legislature in Sacramento in 1987.

Eventually, in March 1999 we got the Mac Bride Principles passed into California state law.”

Fr. Mc Manus explained: “For all his perceived radicalness, Tom was also a very practical political leader. The Irish National Caucus launched the Mac Bride Principles on November 5, 1984.

Some in Ireland — who regarded themselves very radical — at first rejected the Mac Bride Principles because the Principles were not “radical” enough. But Tom Hayden — Mr. Radical Himself— had no such misconception. He immediately saw the intrinsic power of our Mac Bride Principles—for all their moderation and reasonableness— and he embraced them steadfastly.”

Fr. Mc Manus continued: “The Mac Bride Principles have been passed into law by 18 States and dozens of town and cities. The Principles were passed twice by the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and signed into law in 1998 by Democratic President Bill Clinton. The Mac Bride Principles are universally seen as having played a key role in the promotion of fair employment in Northern Ireland.”


Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “Of course, as is now well known, the success of the Mac Bride Principles led to our launching—on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012— the Holy Land Principles— a corporate code of conduct for the 544 American companies doing business in Israel/Palestine.

The Holy Land Principles are   pro-Jewish, Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Company.  They do not call for quotas, reverse discrimination, divestment, disinvestment, or boycotts.

The Principles do not try to tell the Israelis or the Palestinians what to do. The Principles only ask American companies doing business in the Holy Land to sign the Holy Land Principles.

Since 1972, Shareholder advocacy has become very popular in the United States, and since then very many Shareholder Resolutions/Proposals have been filed with many American companies on all imaginable sorts of social issues. Except one! Until we began filing Holy Land Principles resolutions, no American company had ever been confronted about its fair employment in the Holy Land. It was the elephant in the (board) room. Now that has changed. The Holy Land Principles are an idea whose time has come: the big existential question for American companies that can no longer be ignored.”