Filmmaker Killed In Mexico

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William Bradley Roland, aka Brad Will, a U.S. journalist and cameraman, was shot and killed on November 1st in Oaxaca, Mexico, by paramilitaries affiliated with the PRI, the former Mexican ruling party. Will was in Oaxaca covering the continued resistance of teachers and other workers against the PRI-controlled government of the State of Oaxaca. According to reports from New York City Independent Media Center and La Jornada, Will, 36, was shot at the Santa Lucia Barricade from a distance of 30-40 meters in the pit of the stomach by plainclothes paramilitaries and died while enroute to the Red Cross.

Brad Will went to Oaxaca in early October to document the story of the statewide strike in Oaxaca, Mexico. Plainclothes police and gunmen linked to state governor Ulises Ruiz attacked the barricades erected by the Oaxacan people and their teachers. The police used machine guns and the teachers and the people defended themselves with stones and machetes. So far, there are at least three people confirmed dead, and reports of scores wounded.

Seventy thousand teachers have been on strike in the state since May 22. They have been joined by the APPO, including representatives of the 16 indigenous peoples in the state. The struggle has convulsed Mexico, as several thousand teachers and APPO strikers marched on Mexico City, where they have been camped out in front of the Senate. As part of the ongoing strike by the state teachers union, now in its sixth month, there are hundreds of barricades in Oaxaca city and strikers have called for reinforcement of the barricades.

Under heavy pressure from the right-wing federal government of Vicente Fox, the teachers union, Section 22, SNTE-CNTE, voted by 30,000 to 20,000 to go back to work. However, they made this conditional on receiving guarantees of safety for the strikers against threats by the state governor Ruiz and his PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), which has ruled the state for the last 75 years. According to Radio APPO, the radio station of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, truckloads of armed paramilitaries entered the state capital. During the afternoon motorcycles and pick-up trucks with plainclothes ministerial police roamed through the city.

Will was one of five people who died along with 17 wounded, as paramilitaries and federal police poured in to retake the city, according to Centro de Medias Libres. The city had been in the hands of the workers for five months. A longtime journalist and activist, Will covered land occupations in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., direct actions and rebellions in Argentina and Ecuador, land occupations in Brazil, and anti-privatization struggles in Bolivia. He was a respected figure in the global justice movement in the U.S.

There have been repeated solidarity demonstrations with the Oaxaca strikers in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere in the U.S., as well as internationally, from Barcelona, Spain to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where teachers called for workers' strikes against the repression in Mexico.

Speaking at a public meeting of the Other Campaign in Buaiscobe, Sonora, Zapatista Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, upon receiving a briefing of the day's events in Oaxaca, told the public and the press: '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….�

Tami Gold and Geraldo Renique have just completed a video report about the situation in Oaxaca entitled Land, Rain & Fire-Report From Oaxaca. It is available on DVD and free to all. Go to:

Kristin Bricker reported for this story from Sonora.

News stories on Oaxaca are available on the Indymedia websites, NarcoNews, The Mexico City daily La Jornada

El Universal

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