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San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans

San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans

Close friends report that the body of San Francisco activist Kirsten Brydum was found Saturday in New Orleans, where Kirsten had traveled as part of a popular education tour. Kirsten was known locally as an organizer of the Really Really Free Market in Dolores Park, a monthly gathering to freely exchange goods and services with no money, trade or barter.

More news:

Virtual Memorial to Kirsten Brydum
Funeral information on other planned events
Kirsten's Journal from Her Road Trip: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
S.F. community activist touring the nation is slain in New Orleans
Latest Update
Collective Autonomy and the Death of Kirsten Brydum
N.O. coroner identifies murder victim as visitor from San Francisco

San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans

Community Mourns Loss of Kirsten Brydum

San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center September 30, 2008

Close friends report that the body of San Francisco activist Kirsten Brydum was found Saturday in New Orleans, where Kirsten had traveled as part of a popular education tour. Kirsten was known locally as an organizer of the Really Really Free Market in Dolores Park, a monthly gathering to freely exchange goods and services with no money, trade or barter.

According to press reports, Kirsten was fatally shot several times in the head. New Orleans police say they are awaiting a report from the coroner, who has not yet released information about the death.

Kirsten's death follows closely after news of the murder of another young activist, Marcella "Sali" Grace Eiler, in Oaxaca. Those who knew Kirsten or Sali have been invited to Station 40 on Sept. 30th to grieve and to honor the women and support one another.

2007 video interview with Kirsten | Initial press report | More on the San Francisco RRFM: 1 | 2

Source

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San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, September 30 2008 @ 08:49 PM CDT
My heart is really heavy upon hearing this news, which I've confirmed through a comrade in San Fransciso. Several weeks ago I made arrangements for Kirsten so she could visit Kansas City. She was traveling around the country and doing some research on collective projects. After she arrived in Kansas City, I gave her a tour of the collective projects that we're working on, including the Crossroads Infoshop. She stayed in town for several days and made quite an impression on my friends whom she stayed with. I didn't get a chance to have any long discussions with Kirsten, but I was very impressed with her.

My thoughts go out to her friends, family and comrades.

Chuck
Kirsten's last letter from the road
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, September 30 2008 @ 11:17 PM CDT
Kirsten's last letter from the road

by Kirsten Brydum

( tyson [at] millionfishes.com )
Tuesday Sep 30th, 2008 6:55 PM
9.25.08

Oh, I'm starting to feel a little tired. I have less energy to get out and fill my days as completely as I can. Right now, I'm cozy on a porch in Asheville, North Carolina, a small town nestled into the Appalachian Mountains, and I'm quite content to take it easy in this sweet spot.

I did not have such a breezy time getting here though. To make a long story short, I got one of those too-good-to-be true rides from Craigslist. He decided mid-trek that he could no longer drive to North Carolina. Instead, he left me in downtown Indianapolis and drove off to New York City. This sudden change of plans came after a miserable day of riding with him, so I was actually relieved to be free. I did some quick thinking, called a back-up rideshare leaving the following day and found a surprisingly comfortable hostel for the night (with a little tech support from back home). All in all, I was delayed a day but the reward was found in traveling into the night, weaving through the looming shadow mountains with a feminist sociologist, a giant dog and a veggie oil Jetta. We had dazzling and deep conversations and by the time we rolled into this nook of town, we had developed quite a liking to one another.

Asheville is an anomaly in this part of the country. Whereas the rest of the Appalachian region's economy depends upon coal extraction and refinement, an obviously unsustainable practice for both the earth and for the miners, Asheville's economy thrives on tourism and the colleges in the area (also not sustainable, but in a less obvious way). The town is racially segregated and teaming with new babies, new-agey healer types, educated progressives and boutique-lined downtown boulevards. It supports a fledgling Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) as an alternative economy, yet local sentiment laments its lack of energy. The initiators of the project in Asheville have been consumed by the new worker-owned infoshop project, Firestorm Caf
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: anjamarie on Wednesday, October 01 2008 @ 01:11 AM CDT
Kirsten entered this world on the 22nd of January, 1983 -- 10 months and 11 days after myself. From the moment we met, she was my best friend. Our fathers are brothers, but we were never just cousins. She was my soul's sister. My split apart. My muse. My angel. During the 25 years, 8 months, and 4 days I was privileged to know her, we were inseparable. No matter how much time passed between face-to-face visits, no matter how much space stretched between us, I could always close my eyes and melt that distance. I know it isn't futile to hope that I can still hold onto her embrace. I know her passion, and her strength, and her perfect, open heart will never be far from me or the others' whose lives she touched. I miss her smile. I miss her laugh. I miss the feeling of her hand in mine. I miss long walks. I miss home-cooked meals. I miss sitting cross-legged, sharing cup after cup of tea. I miss late-night, whispered secrets. I miss my very first friend. We're one goddess short on earth today. And every piece of me aches. I love you babyK.
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: Pomegranate on Thursday, October 02 2008 @ 09:12 PM CDT
Really sad news. My thoughts are with her family and loved ones.


---

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.


San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: trudge on Friday, October 03 2008 @ 02:00 PM CDT
From today's Times-Picayune:

Murdered woman's final hours a mystery
Friday, October 03, 2008
By Brendan McCarthy

What happened during the last seven hours of Kirsten Brydum's life?

New Orleans homicide detectives are appealing to the public for information that will help them piece together Brydum's whereabouts early Saturday, shortly before her body was found on a 9th Ward street.

At about 8:30 a.m., a church volunteer group looking to gut blighted homes found the 25-year-old San Francisco woman in the 3000 block of Laussat Place in the desolate Florida neighborhood. She had been shot in the head.

Detectives have spoken to friends and family on the West Coast and acquaintances she was staying with here, NOPD Assistant Superintendent Marlon Defillo said Thursday. But questions persist.

According to Defillo, police have learned the following details:

Brydum was a community activist and organizer, a free spirit on an adventure across the country. Money meant little to her; life was about experiences.

She was in Minnesota for the Republican National Convention last month. Then she traveled to the East Coast.

Brydum arrived in New Orleans on a train Sept. 25. She was staying with friends in Bywater, in a home near the intersection of North Claiborne Avenue and St. Ferdinand Street. Her friends loaned her a black cruiser-style bicycle with a basket in the back.

On Friday, her second day in the city, she went to the Howlin' Wolf club on South Peters Street in the Warehouse District about 11:30 p.m.

She wore a green-and-white-striped long-sleeved shirt over an off-white dress, with flip-flops on her feet and a feather in her hair.

"The timeline stops at 1:30 a.m.," Defillo said. That's when Brydum hopped on a bicycle and left the bar.

She was found seven hours later, fully clothed. She had not been sexually assaulted, police said. Robbery doesn't appear to be the motive, but her bicycle is missing.

Investigators ask that anyone with information call Crimestoppers at 504.822.1111 or toll-free at 877.903.7867.
. . . . . . .

Note that the neighborhood in which she was staying is misidentified in this article; it is generally known as the Upper Ninth Ward or St. Roch, not "Bywater", which is to the southeast. And the last sentence of the article should be taken with a grain of salt.
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 04 2008 @ 06:57 PM CDT
There was a memorial set up to her at the Really Really Free Market in Carrboro today. Although none of us knew her personally, she had just come through Greensboro and met some good friends there. Many people read the memorial and expressed sadness at this tragic loss. Our hearts go out to her family and friends.
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: Deicide on Sunday, October 05 2008 @ 11:01 PM CDT
The scum responsible for this should be found and prosecuted
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: skankinjalapeno on Wednesday, October 08 2008 @ 05:34 PM CDT
Kirsten will never be forgotten. I didn't know her, but I notice that she's exactly a day younger than me. I will pore over her journal entries and learn from her experiences.

I don't know the situation beyond what has been posted on this website, so I don't know if Kirsten put up a fight against her murderer or any other details (like whether she was ambushed, etc). I do feel urged to comment about personal safety and activism in places where we are not from. Some parts of New Orleans, maybe even most, are not nice places to hang out at night. I live in a total hippy town, but even here I have been followed twice in one night by people in vans while walking home from downtown. I was fortunate that my friend had a boot knife. This story has convinced me that we can take no chances when it comes to our personal safety, and I suggest all comrades take this issue seriously. It's unfortunate, but it seems like you just can't ride your bike home at night in some places without having a goddamn gat on you. Let's not be naive.

San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: Admin on Wednesday, October 08 2008 @ 05:41 PM CDT
Please. Let's not have comments on an anarchist site about "dangerous parts of town" and anything that suggests that Kirsten made a mistake by being out late at night. Let's leave such speculation and focus to the reactionaries who post to mainstream media sites like Nola.com.

This is an anarchist site. We're all smart enough to know about personal safety issues, but our focus here should be on Kirsten. We should also be outspoken about the right of any person to be anywhere they want, at any time of day, and be safe. That's the world we are trying to create.

Chuck0
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: skankinjalapeno on Wednesday, October 08 2008 @ 07:08 PM CDT
Your attitude is condescending and counterproductive. My analysis of some things might be a bit flawed, so what? Can't you be civil and encourage dialogue, or do you not know how to do that? Do you think Kirsten would nitpick on this? I wasn't calling her naive specifically, more just referring to a general situation. There are certain areas that scare the shit out of me for legitimate reasons and that's something we might have to tangle with at some point in our lives. And maybe calling it naivete wasn't the best way to word things, but so fucking what? I'm not saying she made a mistake by being out late at night and passionately resent the insinuation that I'm disrespecting her memory in any way.
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: Admin on Wednesday, October 08 2008 @ 07:25 PM CDT
You came to an anarchist website and proceeded to bring up a subject in a condescending manner.

Do you think the readers of this site are ignorant of personal safety issues?

This sub-thread is closed. I don't want this story thread to devolve into something that detracts from the person Kirsten was.

Chuck
San Francisco Activist Killed in New Orleans
Authored by: skankinjalapeno on Wednesday, October 08 2008 @ 07:38 PM CDT
I wish all the best for Kirsten's friends, family and community and apologize if anyone took offense at what I said.