Mexican government-backed paramilitaries attacking the popular occupation of the city of Oaxaca killed human rights activist and Indymedia journalist Brad Will.
Brad was a familiar figure to those who squatted the Lower East Side, occupied the countryside of Brazil, and built the Other Campaign in Mexico.
Even if he sometimes was a challenging person to get along with, no one who knew him doubted his commitment to global justice. Surely no one ever will.
Even after many of the other people who had lived through the days of N30 and A16 had left the struggle behind, Brad kept fighting, going to where globalization bared its fangs and staring it down, camera in hand.
I would say that Brad was a human rights activist first, a journalist second. He should be remembered as a hero of the New York City Independent Media Center because he always knew something that others of us are just coming to understand: Journalism is either in the service of justice or it is a cause of injustice.
Read Al Giordano’s obituary for Brad, which includes this statement from Zapatista Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, responding to the news about Brad’s death while speaking at a public meeting of the Other Campaign in Buaiscobe, Sonora:
We know that they killed at least one person. This person that they killed was from the alternative media that are here with us. He didn’t work for the big television news companies and didn’t receive pay. He is like the people who came here with us on the bus, who are carrying the voices of the people from below so that they would be known. Because we already know that the television news companies and newspapers only concern themselves with governmental affairs. And this person was a compañero of the Other Campaign. He also traveled various parts of the country with us, and he was with us when we were in Yucatán, taking photos and video of what was happening there. And they shot him and he died. It appears that there is another person dead. The government doesn’t want to take responsibility for what happened. Now they tell us that all of the people of Oaxaca are mobilizing. They aren’t afraid. They are mobilizing to take to the streets and protest this injustice. We are issuing a call to all of the Other Campaign at the national level and to compañeros and compañeras in other countries to unite and to demand justice for this dead compañero. We are making this call especially to all of the alternative media, and free media here in Mexico and in all the world.