Wednesday, November 01, 2006

From a staggering number of people I keep hearing the news of the death of Brad Will, the Indymedia journalist shot by right-wing paramilitaries in Oaxaca last Friday while reporting on the months-long struggle there, in which mass solidarity with striking teachers has been met with violent government repression (much more of the story can be found through the links above, here, and in plenty of other places).

I didn't know Brad Will, but he knew so many of my friends (and friends of friends, in folk music, activist and contemporary poetry circles) that his death, a major loss to many people, resonates loudly here in Madison.

It also makes the reporting of the mainstream press on Oaxaca more insulting, less because reports of his death leave him anonymous (whereas a "major" journalist who's wounded or held prisoner is made a hero) than because of its misrepresentation of the situation he was covering. Vicente Fox is said to be responding to a desire for a "return to order," when that's the desire only of the tiny upper class ("order" being the usual state of mass poverty); the truth is that many people are being worn down, understandably, by many months of conflict, chaos, and an even worse economic situation than usual. But that always happens in long strikes, including those that result in significant change.

Here's to the people trying to make a good life possible in Oaxaca, and to Brad Will, who was trying to tell us that story.


Send a letter to Vicente Fox:



In the morning language leaks

in. The world too always early

for representation, too late

not never only by a marked

difference. A small hole at the stomach

deflates scale, we who know those

who knew sucked to the edge

of the bubble faster than shots find

a heroic

coupling only

makes class






arrival of

news at distances,

too many to

want to count.

A drill

or siren warning.


Six month strike.

Squirrel chase rattles across the ceiling. That’s

how time gets marked

and pulled from circulation. Last night

we watched Breathless, and the guy who couldn’t make connections

said that people lie about Mexico. He didn’t mean Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

It’s starvation and repression that make the struggle against them

so tiring. The Times says, “desire for order”

when it’s desire that’s hunted,

worn down.


The belly vulnerable

to bullets, to hunger or

to being filled.

The gut is that hole

felt in the heart.


  • At November 1, 2006 at 11:15 PM, Blogger Ian Keenan said…

    Fox is responding to a murder by sending in more murderers, which is natural because the murderer was working for him.

    Sadly, not only is it not news in the US when a Mexican journalist gets killed, it is not news in Mexico either. The death of Americans is very inconvenient to government officials down there, so we get a little more slack. Brad’s killer will not be brought to justice, though his peaceful colleagues will get arrested.

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