Saturday, October 4, 2008

In Memorium: Kirsten Brydum of San Francisco's Really, Really Free Market


I've been meaning to write about San Francisco's Really, Really Free Market for some time now - and it's saddening to have this post triggered by the death of 25-year-old Kirsten Brydum.

As the local paper reports, "Because of her, there is something called the Really, Really Free Market. People bring their rummage to the park on the last Saturday of the month and give it away. Nobody gets any money and everyone walks away a little richer."

I first heard about the market from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which called it the "Best Slap in the Face of Capitalism (Plus Old Aerobics Videos)" and went on to say:
So you don't believe in capitalism and want to clear out all that stuff that's been sitting in your garage for years. You could sell it, but wouldn't you rather find some way to get it off your hands without being a part of the system of exploitation that has plagued humanity for so long? Well, friend, you're in luck. On the last Saturday of every month, dozens of like-minded anarchists, hipsters, and community activists gather in Dolores Park to share goods, food, services, and stories at the Really Really Free Market. The slogan says it all: "No money, no barter, no trade. Everything is free. Really."
There are similar markets in other cities, including:
- Carrboro, North Carolina
- Greenville, North Carolina
- Allston and Brighton, Massachusetts
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Washington, D.C.
- Lancaster, Pennsylvania

I never met Kirsten, and I've never gone to the RRFM. But I still feel a sense of loss, knowing that the person responsible for the market is now gone. My heart goes out to her family and friends.


Michele said...

Thanks for the uplifting post. Even though her death is very sad, it inspires me that with so much going bad in the world that she put RRFM together and that it worked.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

What a tragic loss!

But it is heartening to read that the spirit of the old Diggers' Free Store lives on in San Francisco forty years later.

Jeri Dansky said...

Cynthia, thanks for mentioning the Diggers. Anyone wanting more information about them can look here.