NYC Jericho spoke with Seth’s wife Sheila yesterday, and we are saddened and disappointed to report that Seth, despite being a model prisoner, a decorated combat veteran, having an excellent parole plan and thousands of signatures in support of parole, was once again denied parole by the parole board.
About Robert Seth Hayes: After his schooling in New York City, Mr. Hayes worked as a psychiatric aide at Creedmoor Hospital. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Vietnam. He saw combat, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.In the armed forces, Seth underwent a change of consciousness. After the death of Martin Luther King Junior in 1968, Seth’s troop was ordered to patrol the city streets with fixed bayonets to put down the rebellions resulting from Dr. King’s assassination. “It was the saddest day of my life,” Seth remembers, “and I could never identify again with the aims of the armed forces or the government.”
Upon returning to the United States from Vietnam, Seth was swept up in the Black Liberation movement and joined the Black Panther Party. He worked in the free breakfast for children program and began dedicating his life to the betterment of Black people. His knowledge of the effects of racism on the Black community convinced him that the Black Panthers’ program of community service ad community self-defense was what was needed. His work, like that of so many others, was disrupted by COINTELPRO. Fearing further attacks, he went underground, believing it to be the only way to protect the work of the Black Panther Party and the Black movement in general. Read more…