2. The Diggers - 1
3. Crisis Files
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, May 27, 2017.
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:
I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will
continue with it, but on the moment
I have several problems with my computer, my modem, the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible, and my health.
It may be that I'll be off for a few weeks, that is, I will
publish nothing or little for a few weeks. I don't know yet,
but I will keep you informed in Nederlog.
what I will do for the moment - since I am still looking at 35
sites every morning - is to list the items I selected,
but without any of my
comments. Today I selected four items, and they are below
and link to the originals, but on the moment I have no comments,
basically because that takes too much work on the moment.
There also is this:
the moment there are two more sections:
Diggers - 1 is the first part of a series on the San Francisco
Diggers, who florished fifty years ago, in 1967, in San Francisco, and the
Crisis Files are just that: Four items on the crisis selected from
browsing 35 sites every morning.
2. The Diggers - 1
I was born in 1950 in Amsterdam (Holland) in a quite
leftist and very courageous family and lived the first 20 years of my
life in Amsterdam.
Because I did have a radical background and education, and also because
I lived in Amsterdam, I did
notice the Diggers in in their heighday, in 1967, but since so much was
happening in Amsterdam at the time, and also because I was 17 in 1967,
I did not pay much attention to them: I knew they existed, and
I knew some things about them, but not much.
But - at long last, I admit - I did inquire into the Diggers
starting in April of 2017, and I found quite a lot of quite interesting
(recent) history and interesting ideas, that I intend to unravel at
least a little in the coming time, in several files that will carry the
name "The Diggers - N" where N is a natural number.
This is the first of these files, and in it I give the background
of the San Francisco Diggers, in six items (most of which
comprise a lot of text/videos):
who were the Diggers? In fact, there were two sets of man and women who
were called "Diggers", one around 1650 in
England, about whom the last link gives some information, and
second the San Francisco Diggers, who took their name from the
English Diggers, and who arose in 1966 from the Mime Troupe in San
from Wikipedia, and I will quote a fair amount from it, because this is
the shortest way of introducing the Diggers:
while the above was just a brief introduction to the Diggers, there is
a quite large site about the Diggers, which provides many
backgrounds, and that is both well-arranged and clear:
The Diggers were a
radical community-action group of activists and Street Theatre actors operating from 1966
to 1968, based in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Their politics have been
categorized as "left-wing"; more accurately, they were "community anarchists"
who blended a desire for freedom with a consciousness of the community
in which they lived. They were closely associated and shared a number
of members with the guerrilla theater
group San Francisco Mime Troupe.
The Diggers were formed out
of after-hours Mime Troupe discussions between Emmett Grogan, Peter
Coyote, Peter Berg, and Billy Landout.
The Diggers took
their name from the original English
Diggers (1649–50) who had promulgated a vision of society free from
buying, selling, and private property. During the mid- and late 1960s,
the San Francisco Diggers organized free music concerts and works of
political art, provided free food, medical care, transport, and
temporary housing and opened stores that gave away stock. Some of their
happenings included the Death of Money Parade,
Intersection Game, Invisible Circus, and Death of Hippie/Birth of Free
The group sought to
create a mini-society free of money and capitalism.
One of the first Digger activities was the publishing of various
broadsides, which were published by sneaking into the local Students for a Democratic
Society office and using their Gestetner
printer. The leaflets were eventually called the "Digger Papers," and
soon morphed into small pamphlets with poetry, psychedelic art, and
essays. The "Digger Papers" often included statements that mocked the
prevailing attitude of the counterculture promoted by less radical
figures like the Haight-Independent Proprietors (HIP), Timothy Leary, and Richard Alpert. The first paper mocked the
acid community, saying "Time to forget because flowers are beautiful
and the sun's not yellow, it's chicken!" The Digger Papers rarely
included authors, although pseudonyms were sometimes used like "George
Metevsky," a reference to the "Mad Bomber" George Metesky. After some HIP members
tried to find out who the Diggers were, Grogan and Landout responded
with a telegram that read, "REGARDING INQUIRIES CONCERNED WITH THE
IDENTITY AND WHEREABOUTS OF THE DIGGERS; HAPPY TO REPORT THE DIGGERS
ARE NOT THAT."
provided a free food service in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park in Haight-Ashbury every day at four o'clock,
feeding about 100 people with a stew from donated or stolen meat and
vegetables that was served from behind a giant yellow picture frame,
called the Free Frame of Reference, which people were required to step
through before being served.
numerous Free Stores in Haight-Ashbury, in which all
items were free for the taking or giving. The stores offered discarded
items that were still in usable condition. The first Free Store, in a
six-car garage on Page Street that they found filled with empty picture
frames that they tacked up on the side of the building, was called the
Free Frame of Reference and was later superseded by the Trip Without a
Ticket on Frederick Street. It was unclear how the stores were funded.
They threw free
parties with music provided by the Grateful Dead, Janis
Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and other bands.
They also staged street theater events such as driving a truck of
semi-naked belly dancers through the Financial District, inviting
brokers to climb on board and forget their work. On December 17, 1966,
the Diggers held a happening called “The Death of Money” in which they
dressed in animal masks and carried a large coffin full of fake money
down Haight Street, singing “Get out my life, why don’t you babe?” to
the tune of Chopin’s “Death March.”This was a precursor to the
happening “The Death of Hippie,” staged in October 1967. In “The Death
of Hippie,” also staged in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, masked
participants carried a coffin with the words "Hippie--Son of Media" on
the side. This event was meant to mark the end of the era of
skillfully used this technique for media relations. Their own
publications, notably the Digger Papers, are the origin of
such phrases as "Do your own thing" and "Today is the first day of the
rest of your life." The Diggers fostered and inspired later groups like
While the Free Food
and Medical Clinics were responses to necessary conditions caused by
the enormous influx of young people during the heyday of the hippie
scene, conditions that the San Francisco government was ignoring, the
Diggers' central tenet was to be "authentic". Running soup kitchens and
medical clinics was not the authentic, long-term concern of the
Diggers' founders. After passing those institutions on to a local
Church and Dr. David Smith to continue, the Diggers moved out of the
City, creating various land bases in Forest Knolls, Olema, Covelo, Salmon River, Trinidad, and Black Bear Ranch, California. In those
places they integrated with other groups: The Free Bakery, the Up Against the Wall
Motherfuckers, and the Gypsy Truckers, creating The Free Family.
That larger group still exists informally, and many of the Diggers'
children and grandchildren remain close and in contact with one
another, and many (children included) are still involved with
is both a large and a great site, and I have so far not read all of it.
If you are interested in the San Francisco Diggers, this is the first
place to go to, perhaps after reading the first above item.
Third, while the Diggers existed from 1966-1968 in San
Francisco and since then in some communes, their heighday was 50 years
ago. Happily, there have also been made some films about them.
The best film I have seen is the following one:
originally French and was made in 1998. It takes 56 minutes and
well worth seeing, even though the English comments are spoken by a
French lady who speaks Franglais, and especially her sound was a bit
difficult to follow on my system.
But this seems a quite honest and well-intentioned documentary, and it
also shows quite a lot of former Diggers talking in the Nineties.
Fourth, there is a film that seemed to have been made
by some of the Diggers themselves, and that overlaps some with the
this is a series of sequences shot while certain things were happening
in 1967 or 1968. It is considerably less systematic than the
previous item, and if you watch it you should pay attention also to the
Fifth, while quite a few of the Diggers meanwhile have
died, and notably Emmett Grogan and Peter Berg, one leading Digger
from then is Peter
and he is still alive, and meanwhile has become a Zen master and a
prominent actor. He is also still an anarchist and maintains a quite
quite a lot of quite interesting material on his site, but he revised
the site the last few days, and while most things I found on the
previous incarnation are still there,
this seems now a little less well organized than the site I read in
April and the beginning of May. (Most interesting written bits now seem
to be here: Coyote in
Sixth and last, the best story about the
Diggers is by one of them, Emmett Grogan:
This is a very
well-told story about the Diggers from Emmett Grogan's point of view.
The link is to a pdf-file of 30 MB that gives the pages 209 to 498 of
his semi-auto- biographical novel "Ringolevio", that was first
published in 1972, and since then twice more.
It is very well worth reading and it is a quite
interesting story, most of which is very probably quite true.
Unfortunately, Emmett Grogan died in 1978, age 35, after an overdose of
heroine. He certainly was a bright man.
All of the
above - yes, it is a lot of reading and viewing - serves as an introduction
to the San Francisco Diggers.
I like them because they were quite interesting, real leftists, and
anarchists, and because they had quite a large number of interesting
ideas (and indeed more so than other radical leftist group from
the Sixties, like the Provos
French and German
student movements) but I do not
quite agree with them and I also think that, while the experiment they
did between 1966 and 1968 was quite interesting and worth doing, it
And there will be soon more files on the Diggers in Nederlog, for they
definitely were interesting.
3. Crisis Files
have been writing on the crisis since September 1, 2008 (Dutch) and
with considerably more attention since June 10, 2013 (English).
If you check out the crisis index you will find that I wrote in over
eight years nearly 1600 files, that nearly all consisted of a
reference to one or more articles that were partially quoted and mostly
I will continue with that, simply because I think the crisis is
a very important social, political and economical event, but
meanwhile I have turned 67 and need a little rest,
so what I'll be doing the coming weeks (at least), is selecting 3 to 6
files from the 35
sites I consult every morning to see what's happening in the world of
politics and econonomics, and present them, but now without
Here is today's selection
Rousseff on Her Ouster, Brazil's Political Crisis & Fighting
all well worth reading.
Corbyn Praised for Denouncing Failed ‘Global War on
the Russian ‘Hacking’ Claim