[OPE-L] Brad Will and the struggle in Oaxaca

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat Oct 28 2006 - 08:01:04 EDT

Indymedia activist and reporter Brad Will  was killed Friday afternoon in
Oaxaca City by government forces as the town finds itself under a violent
attack from the government. Brad has reported from Argentina, Chiapas,
and Goiania (Brazil),  and elsewhere,  in the past so some of you might have
met him.  He was well known in the New York City activist scene.  Years
ago I  joined a small mailing list which sought to coordinate protests in
of the squatters in Goiania.  Basically it is a small affinity group
of anarchists and socialists of various sorts, but was _defined_ as a "short
term list for coordinating support for Brad".    So, it is with a very heavy
heart that I report this news.

Inspired by what he was reading about Oaxaca, he felt the responsibility to
go and record what was occurring in Oaxaca.  He was shot Friday at a
as it came under attack from civilian dressed cops. He was shot in the side
and the stomach and died enroute to the hospital. What follows is an account
of the day.

In solidarity, Jerry

>    Reports received from Radio Universidad tells that civil population is
> under attack in the streets of the city of Oaxaca. Also this radio
> station informs that Indymedia reporter Bradley Will was shot dead.
> <img src="http://www.jornada.unam.mx:8080/ultimas/reportero.jpg/image">
>         The firsts attacks were reported early this morning, around 10 am
> when
> unknown individuals attacked Radio Universidad with heavy gunfire. This
> radio is under control of students and members of the People´s Popular
> Assembly of Oaxaca, APPO.
> After this morning attack on the radio, APPO declared full alert. Also
> Flavio Sosa, a very well known activist of this movement announced that a
> young man was kidnapped in one of the many barricades in the city, in a
> place known as Puente Cinco. Other clashes were reported in other spots
> like Colonia Volcanes, where a group of people tried to dismantle another
> barricade.
> Then, around 2 p.m. a group in a pick-up attacked another barricade,
> injuring a boy in the foot, who later on was moved to a hospital. At
> Avenida del Ferrocarril, another pickup truck attacked the members of the
> APPO. Early reports talked about three people injured by gunshot in this
> action.
> At 6:03 pm, Radio Universidad confirms the death of Bradley Will, New York
> Indymedia reporter , shot in the stomach. This occurred in the colonia
> Lucia del Camino Also another reporter from Milenio Diario, Oswaldo
> Ramirez was injured by gunfire. Will was reportedly shot from a distance
> of 30 to 40 meters in the stomach. His body was put in a volkswagen and
> died while in transit to the Red Cross.
> 6:05 pm. Reports indicate that snipers are shooting indiscriminately
> against civilians from the roof top of the Municipal Palace of Santa
> Lucía del Camino. Then police attacked the barricade in the Procuraduría
> de Oaxaca,leaving seven people lying on the ground, their health condition
> is unknown.
> More and more reports keep coming in through Radio Universidad. The state
> in the city is completely chaotic as the civil population keeps receiving
> attacks from unknown shooters and police. The activists keep calling to
> resist. Radio
> Universidad is the only radio station left from many that the people used
> to have in their control. If this station falls, the movement will found
> itself unarticulated and cut off from the outside. APPO calls for a
> national movement of support.
> Another person is reported dead in another clash between APPO members and
> other people from Santa María Coyotepec. The circumstances are not yet
> clear. New reports of shootouts and more attacks continue.
> Since the beginning of the conflict, Ulises Ruiz has been using a
> paramilitary group known by the people as "The caravan of death". These
> attackers use AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, shotguns and 9mm guns against
> unarmed civilians. Before today, the movement had lost 15 members under
> fire from this killers or by police. Many leaders and activists have been
> thrown in jail. They also have been kidnapping sympathizers of the
> movement.
> Report back from Brad
> <img src="http://nyc.indymedia.org/images/2006/10/77762.jpg">
> 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
> preturbed 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 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
> 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 corpes
> 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

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