About Brooklyn Diggers

thanks, Rustbeltradical, for this image

What’s a Digger?

The Diggers were a Protestant Communist group in formed 1649 who believed that “true freedom lies where a man receives his nourishment and preservation, and that is in the use of the earth.”  They were radicals who opposed both the troubled monarchy of King Charles I and the land-owner based government proposed by Oliver Cromwell.   Instead, they felt that people’s good work should determine their reward, and that all people should have equal access to planting and harvesting in their country.  They brought their beliefs into action by planting on common land, inviting all people to work the land and share the harvest rather than paying high food and drink prices that were crippling the common man’s autonomy.

As you can imagine, the higher classes were none too thrilled, meeting the Diggers not only with court summonses but also, with gangs and organized violence against the Diggers.   The movement collapsed in 1651.

(find out more here)

Ok, but who are the Brooklyn Diggers?

The Brooklyn Diggers are a collective of activists, history buffs and artists who believe that much more than land has been co-opted based on American social hierarchies.  The Brooklyn Diggers aim to reclaim the psycho-geography of our neighborhoods, streets and buildings, and the ignored history that surrounds us.

Although American culture champions the “underdog,” often our heroes are anything but.  There is a reframing and mythologizing that occurs.  Upper class “white” people, who had every advantage, through the lens of popular history become driven underdogs who “changed the world.”  This mythology becomes exhaustive to workers, wage slaves, eccentrics, artists, minorities, immigrants– there’s no one there like us!  And thus, the mythology works hard to maintain the status quo.

Brooklyn Diggers know that there are true underdogs in history.  These underdogs have not been recognized, or are only sub-culturally recognized, and may never receive validation for their work.   In fact, their work and their ideas might already be forgotten.  We know that these bones are buried deep in the ground, and that we might never find out their names or addresses, but we’re interested in trying to dig it up.

Our mission is to explore the social justice history of Brooklyn, and share with you what we find.  We’ll write for you, we’ll walk you around, and in true Digger spirit, sometimes we’ll even share what we have and feed each other.

Our hope is that what we dig up and learn will inspire you to forget traditional American folklore, and reclaim our country’s history and heritage for all.


Reach us at: bk.diggers[at]gmail.com


One Response to “About Brooklyn Diggers”


  1. What’s Happening? (10/19-10-25) | The Greenpointers What’s Happening? (10/19-10-25) | from Ash to Apollo and all that's in between - October 19, 2011

    […] BK Diggers 150th Anniversary Celebration @ McGolrick Park, 1-4pm,  a collective of activists, artists and […]

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