In Memory of Sally and Kirsten

By Hannah E. Dobbz

We are deeply disturbed to hear of two recent deaths of our comrades Marcella "Sally" Grace Eiler and Kirsten Brydum. Some of us involved in the Nor'Easter and NEAN knew both Sally and Kirsten, whether as close friends or only brief encounters. Please read the article "Hasta Siempre Sally Grace" in this issue of the Nor'Easter. Kirsten's article, "Collective Autonomy on the Move", is also in this issue.

Kirsten Brydum died on Friday, September 26, in New Orleans, LA. She had been traveling since August, researching for the Collective Autonomy project. She was shot multiple times in the head, and no one knows why. She was 25 years old.

Kirsten visited me in Buffalo mere weeks before her death, just as she had visited so many others on her tour. While she had met a good deal of new friends along the way, she still made time to see the old ones. I was an old one.

I met Kirsten at New College of California in 2006. She also volunteered with Food Not Bombs in San Francisco. Kirsten always wanted to share, whether it was meals, stuff or ideas. She organized all the Really Really Free Markets in the city, and when she still wanted to share more, she bottom-lined the donations-based Access Cafe in the Mission earlier this year.

Kirsten had big ideas that, after graduation, were bursting from the seams of the Bay Area. Unable to contain her, California let Kirsten go in search of the rest of the country, with dreams of a network that would transcend geography to connect all of us working for a better world. California didn't know it would be a last goodbye.

Traveling by train, her last stop was New Orleans. Kirsten and some friends went out to a club together on Friday night, but her friends didn't see her again until 8 a.m. Saturday morning. They saw her body, but Kirsten was nowhere to be found.

Our lives are a sort of wiki; everyone you meet contributes something. Kirsten made a physical wiki for her life's work, centered on the Collective Autonomy Network. And lucky for us, even though people can be extinguished like candles, ideas never die. I urge you to keep Kirsten and the Collective Autonomy Network alive by contributing to the CAN Wiki.

The project wasn't just about Kirsten; it was about all of us. And we'll all miss her very much.

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