for what its worth, Byers was a student of Stephen Smale at Berkeley,
who has been politically active since the Vietnam War:
Smale's politics also dominated his life during these years. He
joined the Communist Party while in college, helped organize
anti-war demonstrations on the UC Berkeley campus in the 1960s,
including co-organizing with Jerry Rubin a 33-hour "Vietnam Day"
teach-in in 1965, tried to stop troop trains passing through the
city, and barely avoided a subpoena from the House Unamerican
Activities Committee investigating Communists in this country.