“One more martyr in a dirty war – One more time to cry and hurt.”

Brad Will Nov 3, 2006

bradwithcameraEarly 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 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.

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Its amazing what he wrote.

  2. teagan says:

    This showed up in my email on Tues or so of the week Brad was killed, from one of many activist listservs from which I get messages everyday. I began to read the first paragraph and I made a comment to my friend nearby that it seemed this was written by a NYC person because of the reference to Amadou and then I said it looked long and I would have to read the rest later. I didn’t notice the author. Later I realized it was from Brad. It is strange to read his words on one day and know that he is alive and down there doing this work then the next time you read those words he is gone. It is so hard to believe, much less to accept. My heart is so angry.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i love you brad. we marched across the brooklyn bridge together when I was 19 for the Abner Louima march. remember? you were going to take me in at 5th street but i had to go back to new orleans. the last time i saw you was at the Republican National Convention when we were running from cops in 2002.
    Love Ya, my brother.

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