Murder in Mexico: Brad Will, Documentary Filmmaker
Sun Oct 29, 2006 02:35

 
Brad Will, New York Documentary Filmmaker and Indymedia Reporter, Assassinated by Pro-Government Gunshot in Oaxaca While Reporting the Story
Photographer Oswaldo Ramirez of the Daily Milenio Wounded in Attack by Shooters for Ulises Ruiz Ortiz in Santa Lucia del Camino

By Al Giordano
The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign in Chihuahua

October 27, 2006

CLICK FOR FULL STORY:


Brad went to Oaxaca in early October knowing, assuming and sharing the risks of reporting the story. His final published article, on October 17, titled http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2006/10/77343.shtml “Death in Oaxaca,” reported the assassination of Alejandro García Hernández on the barricades set up by the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO, in its Spanish initials).

Our friend and companero, indy journalist and eco-activist Brad Will, was murdered on Friday by rightwing government death squads while videoing at the barricades in Oaxaca, Mexico. The story (among those below), in NarcoNews, can be seen with incredible pictures of Brad AND his murderers at http://www.narconews.com/Issue43/article2223.html
also, nyc.indymedia.org

I just learned about this as I was leaving the ReThinking Marxism conference in Amherst Massachusetts, heading back to NYC. I grabbed a NY Times at the train station in Connecticut and saw that they ran a little bullshit squib about Brad on Saturday. They said he was killed by "unknown gunman" (Yea, right. Liars!) and tried to pin the assassination of Brad on the peaceful and strong protesters, who, they said, burned down the library! (another lie). I'll have more on the NY Times note, and everyone should write to them, if you have the heart to do it at this very sad moment.

Commandante Marcos gave a much more moving and accurate picture, and Al Giordano quotes it in the NarcoNews piece below.

I wish I could say to Brad "rest in peace", but I can't, I don't want you to, and I know that you don't want to either. I remember us in Seattle '99; I remember Brad getting us to fight to save the forest and squatters' land in Brazil (Brad went there, and his messages sparked solidarity actions at the Brazilian consulate -- I think Jerry Levy still has the pictures he took there); I remember working with Brad and Aresh and Ariane and a zillion others to save community gardens here in New York City; I remember doing secret and sometimes on-the-run reports over the underground Steal this Radio station that we had to move around the Lower East Side as the FCC triangulated in on us; I remember Brad at Reclaim the Streets parties, and marching against the war in Iraq, and planning new "adventures" against the genetic engineers, and doing alternative energy projects -- and hearing him read at BlueStockings -- Brad was everywhere, and if Brad was there you knew you were in the right place.

Just, give'm hell, Brad, it was a privilege knowing you -- an outstanding human being -- and running with ya. And, of course, we redouble our efforts (if that is possible), free Oaxaca, free Mexico, free the U.S., free ourselves!

Below are some stories & letters & news compiled from the 900 email messages or so that are spilling out of my inbox .... Cry me a river ... The bastards -- the bastards!

- Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn, NY

--------------------------

From: aresh

Dear Friends,

With a heavy heart, i just received the news that Brad Will reporting in Oaxaca Mexico, was shot and killed this afternoon.
There is a gathering at Blue Stocking tonight at 10pm.....

---------------------

News from our brother Brad in Oaxaca, Mexico

ENTER:


(snip)
what can you say about this movement -- this revolutionary moment -- you know it is building, growing, shaping -- you can feel it -- trying desperately for a direct democracy -- in november appo will have a state wide conference for the formation of a state wide assemblea estatal del pueblo de oaxaca (aepo) -- now there are 11 of 33 states in mexico that have declared formation of assemblea populares like appo -- and on la otra lado in the usa a few -- the marines have returned to sea even though the federal police who ravaged atenco remain close by -- the new encampment in mexico has begun a hunger strike -- the senate can expell URO -- whats next nobodies sure -- it is a point of light pressed through glass -- ready to burn or show the way -- it is clear that this is more than a strike, more than expulsion of a governor, more than a blockade, more than a coalition of fragments -- it is a genuine peoples revolt -- and after decades of pri rule by bribe, fraud, and bullet the people are tired -- they call him the tyrant -- they talk of destroying this authoritarianism -- you cannot mistake the whisper of the lancandon jungle in the streets -- in every street corner deciding together to hold -- you see it their faces -- indigenous, women, children -- so brave -- watchful at night -- proud and resolute.

FULL STORY:


RELATED LINKS:

Indigenous Teachers Defend ´A Just Cause´
10/8 | Teachers build and defend thousands of makeshift barricades throughout Oaxaca City.
http://nyc.indymedia.org/es/2006/10/76995.html

From: MGgracielam9@aol.com

Brad Will from Indymedia New York was killed by "white guards" today in Oaxaca's barricades. please post widely.

here are some news and a picture that is hard to watch by those of us who knew him full of life, hope and dedication to our common cause.

http://indybay.org//newsitems/2006/10/27/18323886.php
http://indybay.org//newsitems/2006/10/27/18323885.php
http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas

Brad spent time in Argentina, reporting on the autonomist movements and won a space in our hearts. We protest his death and honor his memory.


From: Montyneill@aol.com

George Salzman sent this post. Gustavo Esteva reports situation is grave. The Jornada link includes an 8-minute video, not a lot on the video, may be on the audio aspect but I do not know Spanish. Giordano talks about the murder of the reporter; there are photos of the murderers. Also on narconews see Nancy Davis on authorization of federal police to enter Oaxaca, given Friday; she reports 4 dead, 30 wounded as the attacks by URO's goons and cops provides the pretext for the federally authorized invasion. I do not know what has happened today, Sat - the Jornada link may have today's news - other than the Davis piece says that at noon Sat they were waiting for the police assault as many federal police have gathered at a nearby military base. After the Salzman forward I have inserted a piece from David Riker sent this morning also.

In a message dated 10/27/2006 10:34:52 PM Eastern Standard Time, george.salzman@umb.edu writes:
1) Photo of killed young American video-journalist in Oaxaca, at <http://www.jornada.unam.mx:8080/ultimas>http://www.jornada.unam.mx:8080/ultimas
2) A late report on Narco News by Al Giordano, at <http://www.narconews.com/en.html>http://www.narconews.com/en.html
3) Two of many e-mails on the OSAG list, at <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oaxacastudyactiongroup/>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oaxacastudyactiongroup/
This is as ugly as it's been since 14 June, but I don't believe the governor will be able to suppress the rebellion. --George

Saturday, October 28, 10:30AM

Dear Friends,

A few hours ago it was announced that President Fox had ordered the
Federal Police (PFP) to enter the city and they are expected to
arrive throughout the day. This follows yesterday's coordinated
attack by undercover municipal police on the city's barricades which
left 4 dead (among them Brad Will, a 36 year old American reporter
with Indymedia) and as many as thirty five injured. The city is on
edge, and my own understanding of what is happening is based mainly
on Radio Universidad, the last surviving movement-controlled radio
station.

As some of you may already know, the teachers union, Section 22,
ratified a vote on Wednesday to return to work, subject to certain
guarantees from the Secretary of the Interior in Mexico City. The
vote itself produced a crisis within the union, and the final vote,
30 thousand to return to work against 20 thousand to stay out,
appears to have fallen along geographic lines with Oaxaca city and
the Valles Centrales strongly determined to stay out. Yesterday
(Friday) the leadership of Section 22, including the now widely-
discredited leader Enrique Rueda Pacheco sat down with the Interior
Minister to finalize an agreement at the very moment that the
coordinated attacks were underway here in the city. As teachers and
movement supporters were facing roaming death squads, the
negotiations in the capital took on a surreal appearance. For among
the principal issues being discussed in Mexico City was the
government's former offer of a general amnesty, and the movement's
demand that all political prisoners arrested during this struggle be
released, and arrest warrants dropped.

Listening to the radio yesterday was chilling as reports were called
in from throughout the city and outlying areas -- in the town of
Santa Maria Coyotepec (where the 'Govenor's Palace' is now located
and the site of one of the largest occupations) we learned that up to
twenty five people had been shot, by evening the wounded were
gathered in the church and volunteer medics were trying to get to
them; in Calicante just east of the historic center, Brad Will and
two others were shot at another important barricade; in another part
of town a woman was reported dragged from a barricade shouting and
taken away in a car. At midday the radio itself came under attack and
the student and teacher announcers called for emergency
reinforcements of the surrounding barricades. Over and over we heard
that people at the barricades were being shot at while they had only
rocks and sticks to defend themselves.

This morning, with the news of the imminent arrival of the PFP, I
spoke with a friend who is a member of Section 22. A young teacher,
she had just returned from bringing food to the barricade in San
Antonio de la Cal. It is one of perhaps a dozen barricades in the
city that the APPO this morning has directed people to defend --
they have called on people to abandon the small barricades of which
there are hundreds, and to concentrate forces around the critical
ones outside government offices. She told me that though there were
only a hundred or so people at the barricade, and though they are
hungry and tired, they plan to do everything possible to defend the
barricade today against the PFP. On the radio moments ago, the
announcer said that they had been informed that the 'Caravans of
Death' would be reactivated today at noon. Meanwhile, the Federal
Police are on their way, and while the Minister of the Interior has
insisted that they will enter the city peacefully, everyone here
remembers what they did in Atenco in early May. What will happen
today is still uncertain -- both in terms of what the PFP will do,
but also, more importantly, what the hundreds of thousands of
residents of the city will do.

Please help to spread the word, and alert others in the network of
media to turn their attention to the struggle ongoing.

David

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