by Eric Noble
Digger Poster from 1968
Image: Digger Archive
The San Francisco Diggers became one of the legendary groups in the Haight-Ashbury during the years 1966 to 1968. Shrouded in a mystique of anonymity, they took their name from the original English Diggers of the 1640s. The San Francisco Diggers combined street theater, anarcho direct action, and art happenings in their social agenda. Their most famous activities revolved around Free Food (every day in the Panhandle), and the Free Store (where everything was free for the taking). They produced a series of events that mark the evolution of the hippie phenomenon from a homegrown face-to-face community to the mass-media circus that splashed its face across the world's front pages and TV screens.
Peter Coyote on "The Free Store"
The Diggers broadcast these events, as well as their editorial comments of the day, through broadsides and leaflets distributed on Haight Street. These Web pages are my attempt to put together a collection of materials that represent the "digger movement" as it developed in the mid-to-late sixties and early seventies (and even continues to today). I have been collecting these materials for 27 years, and see the Web as a way to display them and make them available both for researchers and for all diggers past and present who want to preserve and participate in this history.
Shown here is the "1% Free" poster that was first seen in wall sized posters and became the Digger trademark for the last cycle of street events in the spring of 1968.
Peter Berg, interviewed by Chris Carlsson and David Martinez, August 2009.