Up

Planetedge Posters

Final Digger Series
1969, Onward to the Planet

After the Summer Solstice events of 1968, Digger and Free City energies continued to disperse out of the city into country communal living situations. Some stayed back. Peter Berg and Kelly Hart worked on editing the Diggers' homemade film. NOWSREAL had been shot during the spring of 1968 (from "equinox to solstice") and the Berg/Hart edit was ready for viewing in late 1968. It was shown at community events and underground gatherings often over the next decade.

In 1969, the People's Park movement in Berkeley and subsequent street battles saw the involvement of many who had taken part in Digger activities. People's Park represented the idea of creating and defending land dedicated to public commons. As the Digger impulse first coalesced around free food in the Panhandle that strip of public space adjoining and nurturing the emerging Haight-Ashbury in 1966 so too People's Park was the nesting ground for a countercultural ecological awareness in 1969.

Also in 1969, Kaliflower began publication in April, as the first free intercommunal news magazine distributed by hand to a network of communes that by 1972 numbered over 300. Kaliflower was published by the Free Print Shop commune on Sutter Street. Several of the Digger communal households would become regular stops on the Kaliflower route. Each Thursday, communal members would gather at the Sutter Street Commune to help bind then deliver that week's issue. Each delivery route would entail a dozen or so communes. Samurai Bob, one of the Diggers, became the inveterate Kaliflower deliverer for Marin County which included stops at the Red House in Forest Knolls and Olema in Point Reyes. [Lew Welch wrote a poem about his visit to Olema. Peter Coyote reads and discusses Lew's poem here.]

All of this is to show how wrong is the traditional narrative of historians and pundits who claim that the Haight-Ashbury was dead by the end of the Summer of Love. Police harassment was crucial for driving the counterculture back underground. For a brief moment, the politics of ecstasy had bloomed in city streets and parks, even in the face of police harassment from the earliest stirrings. Far from the tolerance that is now considered a hallmark of San Francisco's image [link to Pelosi film on San Francisco] the history of the Haight-Ashbury shows that public intolerance was instead the Establishment's response. Pitched street battles on Haight Street between the San Francisco Police Department's Tactical ("Tac") Squad and the hippies during the Summer of Love was a crucial factor that prompted the dispersal out of the Haight. But the counterculture didn't disappear. It wasn't, as one writer would have, "sadly ephemeral" [Cole, 2014, p 141] The history of the Haight-Ashbury counterculture parallels the arc of the Digger movement. The Diggers emerged out of the San Francisco Mime Troupe which had evolved from indoor performances to outdoor commedia dell'arte shows in the parks. From the Mime Troupe's outdoor stage in a public park, the Diggers jumped into the public streets to carry out their notion of agitprop and guerrilla theater. The Haight (and the nearby Panhandle) was a stage for the Digger visions of a Free City and alternative society. After the tidal wave of young visitors and the City's subsequent crackdown, the public face of the scene collapsed. But instead of fading away, the Diggers shifted their energies and carried on. Even after the series of posters on this page, Diggers continued to collaborate in the following decades.

These posters on this page represent the final series of Digger manifestos published in 1969.  Each poster was double-sided. The six images (below) would be published as a series of three 17" x 22" posters named "Planetedge" for the title of one of the posters in the series. Also included are a few subsequent posters produced by Peter Berg. All together, this set illustrates the evolution of Digger philosophy from the early days sharing hot stew in the Panhandle while singing about the evil of automobiles; to the deeply ecological messages in the Digger Papers and on through to the development of bioregional consciousness through Planet Drum and the movement it spawned. [Barb, Oct 21 1966, p 3; Digger Papers, Aug 1968; www.planetdrum.org


Last Digger / Free City event, Summer Solstice 1968

Kaliflower, v1, n1, April 1969


Title screen for Nowsreal, 1968

 

 

Gallery of Planetedge Posters

 
Click on images for expanded view.
 
Title:

PLANETEDGE

 

Title:

Pacific Basin Lifestyles

 

Title:

Song of the Soul to Itself on a Rooftop

 

Title:

all of our ships will come in, he said

 

Title:

planet earth is much more far out than the human brain |

three billion human brains

 

Title:

[Sun, moon, planets, alignments]

 

   

Beyond Planetedge

 
Title:

Automated Rites of the Obsolete Future?

Poster by Peter Berg, distributed at the First United Nations Conference on the Human Environment which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, 1972.
Note: Peter signed this manifesto, the first time he took credit for the long line of Digger sheets and manifestos he had written.
Title:

Amble Towards Continent Congress

Planet Drum Bundle 1976
Written (and signed) by Peter Berg

 

Title:

Amble...

(continued)

 


Back to top
 

 

 
The Digger Archives is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Cite As: The Digger Archives (www.diggers.org) / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 / All other uses must receive permission. Contact: curator at diggers dot org.