Huh. CrimethInc. Far East Blog has re-published an article by Jeff Sharlet, ‘Anarchist Superstar: The Revolutionary Who Filmed His Own Murder’, Boring Clone, January, 2008 on the subject of Brad Roland Will (1970–2006), “a U.S. anarchist, documentary filmmaker and a journalist with Indymedia New York City. He was shot and killed on October 27, 2006 during the teachers’ strike in the Mexican city of Oaxaca.” Brad’s murder appears to have been passed over in (almost) complete silence by the Australian media, as was the case with the arrest of Bangladeshi journalist Tasneem Khalil for documenting human rights abuses by Bangladeshi police. (Khalil was eventually forced to flee Dhaka.) The jailing of another US journalist, Josh Wolf — the longest imprisonment of its kind in US history — for refusing to reveal his sources to authorities, merited one article in The Age upon his release… The commentary which follows the article on Brad is also interesting in relation to debates about the various relationships between corporate / state / independent / media, power, resistance and its representation(s).
HE WAS AN ANARCHIST, AGITATOR AND JOURNALIST WHO WENT TO MEXICO TO DOCUMENT PEASANT REVOLT — AND HE ENDED UP FILMING HIS OWN DEATH by Jeff Sharlet.
The Martyrdom of Brad Will
Even before he was killed by a Mexican policeman’s bullet, Brad Will seemed to those who revered him more like a symbol—a living folk song, or a murder ballad—than like a man. This is what the thirty-six-year-old anarchist-journalist’s friends remember: tall, skinny Brad in a black hoodie with two fists to the sky, Rocky-style, atop an East Village squat as the wrecking ball swings; Brad, his bike hoisted on his shoulder, making a getaway from cops across the rooftops of taxicabs; Brad, locked down at City Hall disguised as a giant sunflower with patched-together glasses to protest the destruction of New York’s guerrilla gardens. Brad (he rarely used his surname, kept it secret in case you were a cop) wore his long brown hair tied up in a knot, but for the right woman—and a lot of women seemed right to Brad—he’d let it sweep down his back almost to his ass. Jessica Lee, one of the few who spurned him, met Brad at an Earth First! action in southwestern Virginia the summer before he was killed. They skipped away from the crowd to a waterfall where Brad stripped naked and invited Lee in her swimsuit to stand with him behind sheets of cascading water. He tried to kiss her, but she turned away. She thought there was something missing inside him. “Like he was incomplete, too lonely,” she says. Maybe he was just tired after a decade and a half on the front lines of a revolution that never quite happened…
Any Time Now.
See also : Making the world safe for capitalism: Oaxaca, Mexico (October 29, 2006) | The Inconvenient Death of Brad Will (November 16, 2006) | Mexico-Australia Solidarity Network | Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) / Red de Solidaridad con los Pueblos Latinoamericanos
- Rally in Solidarity with Mapuche (Indigenous people of Argentina and Chile)
For the life of Mapuche political prisoner Patricia Troncoso in critical health condition after more than 105 days on hunger strike.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 12 midday
CHILEAN CONSULATE in MELBOURNE
Floor 13, 390 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Brad Will, journalist and NYC Indymedia member, was killed in Oaxaca, Mexico covering the struggle of the people to throw out a murderous local governor. Below is a recent email he sent to a friend in Melbourne from Oaxaca.
early dawn, oct16 
yesterday i went for a walk with the good people of oaxaca — was walking all day really — in the afternoon they showed me where the bullets hit the wall — they numbered the ones they could reach — it reminded me of the doorway of amadou diallos home — but here the grafitti was there before the shooting began — one bullet they didnt number was still in his head — he was 41 years old — alejandro garcia hernandez — at the neighborhood barricade every night — that night he came out to join his wife and sons to let an ambulance through — then a pickup tried to follow — he took their bullet when he told them they could not pass — they never did — these military men in civilian dress shot their way out of there
a young man who wanted to only be called marco was with them when the shooting happened — a bullet passed through his shoulder — he was clearly in shock when we met — 19 years old — said he hadnt told his parents yet — said he had been at the barricade every night — said he was going back as soon as the wound closed — absolutely
just days before there was a delegation of senators visiting to determine the ungovernability of the state — they got a taste — the call went out to shut down the rest of the government — dozens went walking out of the zocalo city center with big sticks and a box full of spray paint — they took control of 3 city buses and went around the city all morning visiting local government buildings and informing them that that they were closed — and we appreciate your voluntary cooperation — and they filed out perturbed but still getting paid — shut — as they pulled away from the last stop 3 gunmen came out and started shooting — 2 buses had already pulled away — mayhem — 10 minute battle with stones and slingshots and screaming — one headwound — another through the leg — made their way to the hospital while the fighting continued — shout out on the radio and people came from all parts — the gunmen were around the side of the building — they got away — they were inside — no one sure — watchful — undercover police were reported lurking around the hospital and folks went running to stand watch over the wounded
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 expel 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
went walking back from alejandros barricade with a group of supporters who came from an outlying district a half hour away — went walking with angry folk on their way to the morgue — went inside and saw him — havent seen too many bodies in my life — eats you up — a stack of nameless corpses in the corner — about the number who had died — no refrigeration — the smell — they had to open his skull to pull the bullet out — walked back with him and his people
and now alejandro waits in the zocalo — like the others at their plantones — hes waiting for an impasse, a change, an exit, a way forward, a way out, a solution — waiting for the earth to shift and open — waiting for november when he can sit with his loved ones on the day of the dead and share food and drink and a song — waiting for the plaza to turn itself over to him and burst — he will only wait until morning but tonight he is waiting for the governor and his lot to never come back — one more death — one more martyr in a dirty war — one more time to cry and hurt — one more time to know power and its ugly head — one more bullet cracks the night — one more night at the barricades — some keep the fires — others curl up and sleep — but all of them are with him as he rests one last night at his watch
uro= Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, “governor” of the state of oaxaca
planton= sit in, vigil, encampment
zocalo= central plaza
There is a critical exchange about this article between Commie Curmudgeon and the author of the Rolling Stone piece (and others) on CC’s blog, here, which I think is worth a look.