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The Chronology of Digger History

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May 1965   R.G. Davis presents his essay on Guerrilla Theatre. More Info
Davis, director of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, presents his essay, with the title of "Guerrilla Theatre" suggested by Peter Berg, to the Troupe. The essay was a blueprint for radical theater groups working toward social change.
Aug 07, 1965 (Saturday) Police Stop SF Mime Troupe Performance, Arrest R.G. Davis. More Info
The Mime Troupe's performance of Peter Berg's adaptation of "Il Candelaio" by Giordano Bruno is stopped in mid-performance by San Francisco police on orders of the Recreation and Park Department. The Mime Troupe's permit had been revoked on grounds of obscenity. After the police arrest Director R.G. Davis, subsequent organizing efforts thrust the Troupe onto the stage of the Bay Area arts community.
May 02, 1966 (Monday) Mime Troupe Disrupts Arts Meeting. More Info
The San Francisco Mime Troupe crashed the first luncheon meeting of the new Arts Resources Development Committee and presents a manifesto.
May 03, 1966 (Tuesday) Culture symposium at SF State. More Info
Ron Davis, director of the SF Mime Troupe, and Kenneth Rexroth participate in a San Francisco State College symposium on the state of the arts in San Francisco at which Rexroth proposes a neighborhood arts movement.
May 04, 1966 (Wednesday) Mime Troupe Cut Off From Hotel Tax Funds. More Info
San Francisco's Chief Administrative Officer Thomas J. Mellon cuts the Mime Troupe off the list of groups to receive SF Hotel Tax funds.
May 08, 1966 (Sunday) Rexroth article on the Arts. More Info
Rexroth cites Bill Graham and Black Arts West as significant undertakings. (Within the same timeframe and context as the formation of the Artists Liberation Front.)
May 10, 1966 (Tuesday) First Artists Liberation Front meeting. More Info
With Willie Brown as chairman of the new group, San Francisco artists meet to organize the Artists Liberation Front at the Mime Troupe's Howard Street loft.
May 31, 1966 (Tuesday) Third Artists Liberation Front organizational meeting. More Info
The Artists Liberation Front holds its third organizational meeting at the Fillmore Auditorium.
Jun 13, 1966 (Monday) Artists Liberation Front meeting. More Info
The Artists Liberation Front meets at The Committee, 8pm.
Jun 23, 1966 (Thursday) Mime Troupe Permit Denied. More Info
The SF Rec and Park Commission denies a permit application from the SF Mime Troupe, using new rules adopted at the meeting.
Jun 26, 1966 (Sunday) Rexroth article: "San Francisco's Culture and the Drift to the Right". More Info
"Let the rich pay for the big cultural facilities. We can have a genuine "people's art" right here and now in San Francisco, and for relativley little money."
Jul 02, 1966 (Saturday) Mime Troupe cancels park performance. More Info
The SF Mime Troupe cancelled the Lafayette Square performance of "The Miser" because the Rec & Park Commission had refused their permit application. The Troupe performed in an empty lot at Laguna and California streets instead.
Jul 05, 1966 (Tuesday) "Search and Seizure" opens. More Info
The Mime Troupe performance "Search and Seizure" opens at The Matrix.
Jul 17, 1966 (Sunday) Benefit for Artists Liberation Front at Fillmore Auditorium. More Info
Announcement by Ralph Gleason (7/11/66) mentions Sopwith Camel, Bob Clark's jazz group, a poetry reading by Allen Ginsberg, and other events with Gary Goodrow as master of ceremonies.
Jul 20, 1966 (Wednesday) Artists Liberation Front announces plans. More Info
The Artists Liberation Front holds a press conference to discuss their plans for an upcoming series of events, including a five-day arts festival in September.
Jul 25, 1966 (Monday) Artists Liberation Front meeting. More Info
The ALF holds another meeting at the Fillmore at 8pm.
Ca. Aug 04, 1966 (Thursday) Billy Murcott arrives in SF (dating in doubt). More Info
Around this date, Billy Murcott moved to San Francisco from New York and joins longtime friend Emmett Grogan to collaborate on various undertakings including the founding of the Diggers.
Aug 28, 1966 (Sunday) Artists denounce Mayor's arts panel. More Info
Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the Artists Liberation Front denounce Mayor Shelley's Arts Resources Development Committee.
Sep 16, 1966 (Friday) Anti-fascist rally and march. More Info
Haight residents hold an "Anti-Fascist Rally and March" from the 1500 block of Haight Street to the Park police station and then back to the intersection of Haight and Ashbury. The purpose was to protest a drug bust that had occurred at 1090 Haight Street. Dennis Noonan, of that address, was quoted as denouncing "blue fascism." This event was the inspiration for the Love-Pageant Rally held three weeks later on October 6, 1966.
Sep 20, 1966 (Tuesday) SF Oracle First Issue. More Info
The premier issue (vol. 1, no.1) of the San Francisco Oracle published. It features an article by the editor John Brownson entitled, "Anarchy 66 Provo" [on p. 3] which describes the activities of the Dutch Provos. Emmett Grogan, who helped to organize the Diggers in San Francisco two weeks later, acknowledged being influenced by contemporary news stories of "the 'Beatnik-Anarchist Provos' in Holland."
Sep 26, 1966 (Monday) Artists Liberation Front announces Free Fairs. More Info
The Artists Liberation Front announces plans for a series of fairs "to involve people in the arts on a direct action basis."
Sep 27, 1966 (Tuesday) Hunter's Point Riot. More Info
The Hunters Point Riot in San Francisco begins around 11pm after a police officer shot and killed a 16-year old African American, Matthew "Peanut" Johnson, around 3pm after Johnson fled from a car that later turned out to be stolen. The riots last for several days and spread to the Fillmore district. Mayor Shelley orders an 8pm to 6am curfew for the two neighborhoods, which included the Haight-Ashbury. The Governor orders out the National Guard which arrives the next day (Wednesday, 9/28). Events over the next several days were instrumental in the formation of the Digger Free Food program.
Sep 29, 1966 (Thursday) SDS Pickets Arrested. More Info
Paul Jacobs and 91 others are arrested for curfew violation at Haight and Clayton at an SDS anti-cop march, protesting the Hunter's Point Riot curfew and the National Guard troops who had moved into the City and were stationed at several locations including Kezar Stadium, two blocks from Haight Street.
Sep 29, 1966 (Thursday) Diggers defy curfew orders, beginnings of Free Food. More Info
Billy Murcott and Emmett Grogan defy the curfew but avoid a confrontation. This evening led to the inspiration for Free Food in the Panhandle.
Sep 30, 1966 (Friday) Early appearance of the Digger Papers. More Info
One of the early Digger Papers is published on this date. The broadside, titled "A-Political Or, Criminal Or Victim Or Or Or . . . " is another in the series of manifesto poems signed "THE D I G G E R S". Although undated, internal evidence clearly proves this as the date of first printing.

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