Brad Will was killed on October 27, 2006, in Oaxaca, Mexico, while working as a journalist for the global Indymedia network. He was shot in the torso while documenting an armed, paramilitary assault on the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, a fusion of striking local teachers and other community organizations demanding democracy in Mexico.
The members of the New York City Independent Media Center mourn the loss of this inspiring colleague and friend. We want to thank everyone who has sent condolences to our office and posted remembrances to www.nyc.indymedia.org. We share our grief with the people of our city and beyond who lived, worked, and struggled with Brad over the course of his dynamic but short life. We can only imagine the pain of the people of Oaxaca who have lost seven of their neighbors to this fight, including Emilio Alonso Fabian, a teacher, and who now face an invasion by federal troops.
All we want in compensation for his death is the only thing Brad ever wanted to see in this world: justice.
- We, along with all of Brad's friends, reject the use of further state-sponsored violence in Oaxaca.
- The New York City Independent Media Center supports the demand of Reporters Without Borders for a full and complete investigation by Mexican authorities into Oaxaca State Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz's continued use of plain-clothed municipal police as a political paramilitary force. The arrest of his assailants is not enough.
- The NYC IMC also supports the call of Zapatista Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos "to compañeros and compañeras in other countries to unite and to demand justice for this dead compañero." Marcos issued this call "especially to all of the alternative media, and free media here in Mexico and in all the world."
Indymedia was born from the Zapatista vision of a global network of alternative communication against neoliberalism and for humanity. To believe in Indymedia is to believe that journalism is either in the service of justice or it is a cause of injustice. We speak and listen, resist and struggle. In that spirit, Brad Will was both a journalist and a human rights activist.
He was a part of this movement of independent journalists who go where the corporate media do not or stay long after they are gone. Perhaps Brad's death would have been prevented if Mexican, international, and US media corporations had told the story of the Oaxacan people. Then those of us who live in comfort would not only be learning now about this 5 month old strike, or about this 500 year old struggle. And then Brad might not have felt the need to face down those assassins in Oaxaca holding merely the ineffective shields of his US passport and prensa extranjera badge. Then Brad would not have joined the fast-growing list of journalists killed in action, or the much longer list of those killed in recent years by troops defending entrenched, unjust power in Latin America.
Still, those of us who knew Brad know that his work would never have been completed. From the community gardens of the Lower East Side to the Movimento Sem Terra encampments of Brazil, he would have continued to travel to where the people who make this world a beautiful place are resisting those who would cause it further death and destruction. Now, in his memory, we will all travel those roads. We are the network, all of us who speak and listen, all of us who resist.
The New York City Independent Media Center
4 W. 43rd St., Suite 311
New York, N.Y. 10036
USA / EEUU