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Digger Papers

August 18, 2009

The folks over at Arthur Magazine are building a cool online archive of printed papers created by the Diggers back in the mid-60s. For those new to them, the Diggers were a San Francisco-based political counter-culture group, sort of like anarchist beatniks and hippies. They took their name from the 17th century British Diggers, a revolutionary band led by Gerrard Winstanley, who basically believed in creating economic equality through complete communal land ownership. The SF Diggers created a free food program for kids in Golden Gate Park, a Free Store, where donated and stolen goods where distributed, and free rock concerts. The existed at the same time that Black Mask was organizing in NYC and the Provos where doing their thing in Amsterdam. All 3 groups were the first big wave of 60s anti-capitalist youth organizing, setting the parameters for what would happen latter in 1968 with the global youth revolt.
The funnest source for reading about the SF Diggers is the book Ringolevio, the semi-fictional autobiography of Digger Emmett Grogan. The text can be found online HERE, but it’s a book well worth having, and can be found HERE.


Arthur has been collecting the flyers produced by Communication Company, who were sort of like the Diggers publishing wing. From the Arthur site:

Most of the documents that we are presenting are broadsides originally published on a Gestetner machine owned and operated in the Haight by the novelist/poet Chester Anderson and his protege/sidekick Claude Hayward, who used the name “Communication Company,” or more commonly, “Com/Co.” According to Claude, these broadsides were then “handed out on the street, page by page, super hot media, because the reader trusted the source, which was another freaky looking hippie who had handed it to him/her.”

All of these Communication Company mimeo flyers can be found on the Arthur site HERE.
Other SF Digger info, posters and flyers can be found at the Digger Archives HERE.

AnarchismAnti-capitalismCulture & MediaHistoryInspiration

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One comment on “Digger Papers”

I was Arther Lisch’s wife. Kids from the Navy brought me veggies, and I daily made from them a daily huge pot of soup to feed the hoards of kids who came to San Francisco from all over America. (The pot was from the Navy also).

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