Sunday, October 29, 2006

RIP Brad Will

Brad Will, New York Documentary Filmmaker and Indymedia Reporter, Assassinated by Pro-Government Gunshot in Oaxaca While Reporting the Story

By Al Giordano
October 27, 2006

Brad Will, 36, a documentary filmmaker and reporter for Indymedia in New York, Bolivia and Brazil, died today of a gunshot to the chest when pro-government attackers opened fire on a barricade in the neighborhood of Santa Lucia El Camino, on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. He died with his video camera in his hands.

Brad went to Oaxaca in early October to document the story that Commercial Media simulators like Rebecca Romero of Associated Press distort instead of report: the story of a people sick and tired of repression and injustice, who take back the government that rightfully is theirs. In that context, his assassination is also a consequence of what happens when independent media must do the work that Big Media fails to do: to tell the truth. My friend and colleague since 1996 when we labored together at 88.7 FM Steal This Radio on New York’s Lower East Side, I bumped into him again in Bolivia in 2004 during a public reception held by the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, and again on the Yucatán peninsula last January where he came to cover the beginnings of the Zapatista Other Campaign – Brad died to bring the authentic story to the world.

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 “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).

Read the rest here.

Coverage of the mourning here.

Indymedia roundup here.

I know this is offbeat for this blog, but I knew Brad when I was volunteering with NY IMC (and Al, the author of the above article). He definitely lived on the edge; he was no stranger to being peppersprayed while shooting video. I remember him receiving a gas mask or two at the old Indymedia office. I wish some of the coverage above included something about his sense of humor, and how much fun he was to be around. Some of my favorite video from IMC was stuff Brad shot at this strange Chengwin event. But the fight for social justice came first, and now Brad is dead. RIP.

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