I struggle every year to make the most of all these really wack holidays. Thankfully, friends like Rebel Imports help me turn the whole consumerist affair into an educational and solidaritous activity --> check out their pitch below and support the Zapatista and Palestinian struggles this "holiday season."
And on this National Day of Mourning, let us take heart in the fact that two adherents to the Zapatistas' Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, Movement for Justice in El Barrio (MJB) and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), are taking the struggle back to where it came from: England. Yesterday, Anti-Slavery International presented the CIW with their 2007 Anti-Slavery Award. You can check out CIW's exploration of London and slavery here. And in the year to come, MJB will be traveling across the Atlantic to confront East Harlem's most powerful gentrifier, the London-based investment bank Dawnay, Day.
ALSO, for those in NYC!:
--> Come to Carlitos Café on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29TH for their closing celebration featuring DJ Liberation sound, Camrade Chris and MC Zuzuka Poderosa who is coming all the way from Brazil. For those that don't know, Carlitos Café and Gallery has been an important pro-Zapatista space in East Harlem since opening its doors in 2003...come out, celebrate, party, and buy some crafts to support the SAVE CARLITOS campaign to find another space.
--> (UPDATE: This event has been CANCELLED. The movie will screen later in the year...) Mark your calendars for SUNDAY, JANUARY 27TH, 2008, when Movement for Justice in El Barrio will be hosting the New York City Premiere of "A Very Big Train Called the Other Campaign," at St. Mark's Church starting at 6p. You can also make a donation to them directly by going here.
Saludos Rebeldes from Rebel Imports!
It's that time of year again, when just about everyone you know expects presents and you find yourself asking, "What do I get for that hard-to-shop-for revolutionary anti-capitalist in my life?" Lucky for you, now you can buy Zapatista-made jewelry, textiles, coffee, and more at www.rebelimports.com.
Who we are
Rebel Imports is a volunteer-run organization that aims to build sustainable fair markets for artisans and farmers, especially those in conflict zones or with connections to social movements. Zapatista women told us that more than charity, they want dignity and fair prices for their artesania... so Rebel Imports was born.
The Xulum Chon cooperative's popular EZLN Book Bags are available in new, fabulous colors like dark blue, purple, orange, and gray.
We've added a lot of exciting clothing, like Nichim Rosa's embroidered skirts, Xulum Chon's embroidered pants, and t-shirts in two designs, Sowing Dignity and Bike Revolution, from Colectivos de Apoyo, Solidaridad, y Accion (CASA, formerly the Chiapas Peace House). Check back soon for new shirts from the Zapatista Rebel Autonomous Secondary School teacher’s collective--they're on their way!
We now have Narco News' first book, Nancy Davies' The People Decide: Oaxaca's Popular Assembly.
We sold out of the Magdalenas de la Paz Collective's ironwork last year, so this year we stocked up on their keychains, hooks (which make great curtain rod holders), and decorative wall hangings. Same goes for the textiles produced by the women in the collective--last year we couldn't keep their intricately-woven change purses and tote bags in stock!
Everyone loves Zapatista coffee--in addition to being addictive, it's delicious. For the tea drinkers in your life, Mut Vitz also makes raw coffee flower honey.
Palestinian extra virgin organic olive oil is back! This will be your last chance to get it in the heirloom flip-top glass bottles, while supplies last.
Happy holidays from Rebel Imports!
Rebel Imports / Importaciones Rebeldes
Rebel Imports is a member of the ZapaRed Zapatista Network, a network of networks north of the Rio Grande.
Importaciones Rebeldes es miembro de la ZapaRed, una red de redes al norte del Rio Bravo en solidaridad con la lucha zapatista.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Members of the Maori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa (known to many by its colonial name "New Zealand"), were amongst those who founded the Zapatista-inspired Peoples' Global Action network (PGA) in 1998. A month ago, under New Zealand's 2002 Terrorism Suppression Act, over 300 police raided houses across the country seeking up to 60 activists in Aotearoa's Tino Rangatiratanga, peace and environmental movements. Among the 17 people arrested in the sweeps were some of these same founding PGA members, along with current Zapatista solidarity activists. With these networks of solidarity in place, though, a massive response came from all over the world denouncing the raids and arrests...and the terrorism charges were dropped.
Here is a recent film featuring Tame Iti, one of the arrestees, and below is a piece by regional PGA convenors "Aotearoa Educators" from 2001....
Neo-Liberalism and the Tino Rangatiratanga Movement
Eight thousand dollars! Eight thousand fuckin' dollars!
That's what I owe the Government to learn my own language...
the language they stole from my parents!
- a Maori student on the student loans scheme
WHAT'S THAT CUZ?
"...what the Right offers is to turn the world into one big mall where they can buy Indians here, women there ..."
- Subcomandante Marcos 1996
PEC, GATT, MAI, NAFTA, WTO, IMF, globalisation, privatisation, neo-liberalism, neo-colonisation...I am trying to resist giving you definition upon definition of these neo-liberal acronyms, -ations and -isms that have been bombarding the world since it took this new liberal economic spin and trying to focus on what this all means for Tino Rangatiratanga.
When I talk about globalisation I'm not talking about the "global village" where we are all holding hands in a virtual cyber-world contemplating the assassination of JFK (for the record I think it was Kevin Costner) for, sure, there are some benefits to globally becoming more politically and socially interdependent. Instead, the globalisation that I'll be ranting on is just one type of globalisation called neo-liberal globalisation, nicely explained by Renato Ruggerio, ex-Head-Goon of the World Trade Organisation, when he said: "We are creating a single global economy". This notion of a single global economy is underpinned by an economic theory called neo-liberalism. To kick off, I guess we need some kind of definition of what neo-liberalism is. So instead of hiring a neo-liberal economist to define for us what neo-liberalism is (they're all sucking up to Mike Moore for a job at the WTO) and to keep it quick I'm going to paraphrase a few basic points that I nicked off the net.
Basically "neo" means new. "Liberalism" comes from the liberal school of economics which became famous in 18th century Europe when Adam Smith, an English economist, along with others advocated the abolition of government intervention in economic matters. No restrictions on manufacturing, no barriers to commerce, no tariffs, he said; free trade was the best way for a nation's economy to develop. Human beings are rationally economic units and the free market is a rationally operating framework within which perfect competition exists. Such ideas were "liberal" in the sense of no controls. This application of individualism encouraged "free" enterprise, "free" competition - which came to mean free for the capitalists to make huge profits as they wished.
Around the world, neo-liberalism has been imposed by powerful financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the nasty WTO (World Trade Organisation). This new form of global capitalism is dangerous. The popular concept of nation-states exercising sovereignty on behalf of the national interest and of the interests of the various groups residing within their borders is being heavily challenged by the locating of economic power within transnational corporations whose wealth exceeds that of many countries. The architects and beneficiaries of this global capitalist order are powerful businessmen, heads of transnational corporations who also sit in powerful positions of influence within powerful governments.
WHAT'S THAT AGAIN?
"Ka whawhai tonu matou ake ake ake" (We will fight on forever, ever and ever)
- Rewi Maniapoto 1864
Maori have a long tradition of struggle and resistance against colonisation and the Crown sponsored theft of Maori land and resources. This tradition is rooted in conflicts over the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori resistance in the "Land Wars", inspired by the prophet warriors Titokowaru and Te Kooti Arikirangi, the philosophies of Te Whiti and Tohu Kakahi, the strategies of the Kingitanga, the resilience of Rua Kenana, the foresight of Ratana, and those countless ancestors whose blood soaks this land.
In the modern context this tradition has been held up by new groups and individuals such as Nga Tamatoa, WAC (Waitangi Action Committee), Te Kawariki, Black Women, Te mana motuhake o Tuhoe, Te Kawau Maro (the list goes on and on) who in turn drove and were inspired by such events as the occupations of Bastion Point (Takaparawha), the Land March and the countless marches on Waitangi, resistance to the infamous fiscal envelope and the occupations it set off (Pakaitore, Takahue, etc.), the establishment of the Tuhoe Embassy, the occupations at Waikaremoana, and resistance to the MAI and Singapore FTA. The tradition of struggle has become the Tino Rangatiratanga movement.
There are many different meanings for Tino Rangatiratanga and the concept itself is part of a rich and ongoing debate in Maori society. The word "tino" is an intensifier and the word "rangatiratanga" broadly speaking relates to the exercise of "chieftainship". Its closest English translation is self-determination - although many also refer to it as "absolute sovereignty" or Maori independence. Such a concept embraces the spiritual link Maori have with Papatuanuku (Earth Mother) and is a part of the international drive by indigenous people for self determination.
SO WHAT'S TINO RANGATIRATANGA GOT TO DO WITH NEO-LIBERAL GLOBALISATION?
"...its just a different version of the same old cavalry"
- a Native American Activist
Understanding the impact of globalisation on indigenous peoples can be best explained in terms of colonisation (for this indigenous person at least!). The first wave of colonisation was undertaken by colonial powers such as Britain, France, Portugal, Spain and Holland. They were caught up in the development of a new capitalist system which was expanding on a global scale in search of new sources of raw materials, cheap labour (either slave or indentured labour) and new markets for the goods produced by capitalists at the centre of the empire. The second wave of colonisation and capitalist expansion has been pushed by transnational companies and corporates supported and regulated by international mafia rackets like the WTO, World Bank and IMF. So in the same way that the colonisation of Aotearoa was a part of a global process of capitalist expansion based on the destruction of the territorial and cultural integrity of the indigenous populations, neo-liberal globalisation is that same process carried out by transnational corporations and neo-liberal institutions, but this time it will impact upon the indigenous and non-indigenous alike.
For indigenous peoples struggling for liberation this means there are two waves of colonisation to fight. The first wave of colonisation has left the indigenous amongst the most disenfranchised, disempowered and dispossessed groups on the planet. This is well documented. The object of deliberate genocide, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of indigenous people have died during our time in the struggle to retain the right to live on and care for their territories to which they not only depend for survival but also have ancient, deeply-held spiritual and genealogical connections.
Not surprisingly, in this context the "fiscal envelope" and the fiasco around the Sealords deal was not about restitution for unjust deeds done to Maori but rather a shoddy attempt to get rid of any semblance of Treaty rights that Maori had in lands, fisheries, rivers, so that New Zealand could waltz into the "free" market. After all any economic resource (land or otherwise) is very commercially unattractive when it seems that another party may actually own it! What silly hua would buy it? Of course, this didn't stop some Maori who, like their buddies in big business, wanted to become global players in this "free" market. So by cashing in on the momentum created by Tino Rangatiratanga advocates, this Maori elite cashed in generations of Maori for only a small fraction of what the land, fisheries and other resources were worth (and for some Maori assigning a monetary value to Papatuanuku or Tangaroa is obscene).
These "corporate warriors" (truly the funniest thing since the chicken crossed the road) monkeyed the Pakeha capitalists which led them to turn tribes into corporate companies (for our benefit we're told - but not with our permission!). All of this was done without mandate and in real dodgy ways. The settlements that they sought saw the gains and successes achieved by those who fought the first wave of colonization negotiated, cashed up and wiped away. The settled amounts they got from the Government are minuscule and will only end up benefiting a small sector of Maori society, the elites in Maori society.
Maori nationalism alone is not enough any more to win the struggle against the continued alienation of our lands, language and culture. We need to be internationalists. Unfortunately, not all Maori are part of this kaupapa. These corporate warriors and tribal capitalists have been pursuing the expansion of their own asset bases, and enriching themselves at the expense of the vast majority of Maori. They have a self interest in neo-liberal globalisation, and they share the profit-seeking mentality that characterises the multi-national companies. The struggle of ordinary Maori for Tino Rangatiratanga is also the struggle against these tribal capitalists.
WEAVING THE FABRIC OF GLOBAL RESISTANCE --- WE'RE NOT DONE!
We do not want your charity, we do not want your loans. Those in the North have to understand our struggle and to realise it is also part of their own. Everywhere the rich are getting richer, the poor poorer, and the environment is being plundered. Whether in the North or South, we face the same future... Globalisation should mean we want to globalise human society, not business. Life is not business.
- A farmer from Karnataka, India
The same year (1994) the NZ government launched its neo-liberal attempt to kill off indigenous rights via the "fiscal envelope," the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect, and two thousand indigenous people from several groups came out from the mountains and forests. Masked, armed and calling themselves Zapatistas, their battle cry was "Ya Basta" - "Enough is Enough". These masked rebels were not only demanding like us that their own land and lives be given back; they were talking about neo-liberalism, about the "death sentence" that NAFTA and other free trade agreements would impose on indigenous people. They were demanding the dissolution of power while encouraging others all over the world to take on the fight against the enclosure of our lives by capital. "Don't join us - do it yourself" was their message.
Working and networking with others does not mean that we give up our own autonomy and sovereignty (get off the grass!). Rebuilding our tikanga, iwitanga and haputanga is no one's business but ours! (Self-determination is about us determining ourselves). It's about recognising that we are not the only people facing neo-liberal globalisation and that it will manifest itself in the context of numerous diverse societies. Being able to share and exchange experiences and strategies and build upon common strategies is what internationalism is about. It's about recognising that Maori society doesn't exist in its own societal cocoon but rather that a commonality of struggle exists with other peoples, movements, and groups across the globe. The mobilisations against the MAI (the Multilateral Agreement on Investment) are a good example of how Maori have networked, worked, and struggled as part of an international dynamic. Wahine Maori led the charge to end the MAI negotiations here in Aotearoa, stopping it in its tracks.
The key message here is to act locally while thinking globally, recognising that there are numerous other groups fighting the same issues. It's all about getting active and doing it for ourselves.
See you on the streets!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Nearly five months have passed since the Other Campaign held its National Forum Against Repression. With everything that continues to unfold, from Plan Mexico to the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" and New Zealand's attack on the Maori (among them former convenors of the Zapatista-inspired Peoples' Global Action network and current Zapatista solidarity activists), the relevance of the ideas shared that Forum has only increased.
In many cases the responses of our networks seem to be pretty successful, such as the recent release of imprisoned Kuna (another former Peoples' Global Action convenor) in Panama due to outside pressure, and some are still in motion, such as the campaign to defend the Zapatista communities currently being carried out by Vía Campesina and other groups and networks throughout Mexico and the World.
As the Other Campaign in the Forum recognized the connections between the forms of control being forced upon the people of Iraq and those forms being imported into Mexico from the US, it seemed to me that translating this proposal into English may be useful to a wider audience as well...
Organizational Proposal of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation for the National Instancia Against Repression
delivered by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos on June 10, 2007
at the Other Campaign's National Forum Against Repression
It’s name could be the National Forum Against Repression, or the National Coordinator Against Repression, or the National Front Against Repression. With regards to the name, we will not favor any one of those proposed or of those that have been thrown out at this meeting. We only say that the name is something that will gain its place and its legitimacy in the actions that it takes.
This national instancia should include, we think, in addition to those that govern our movement of the Other Campaign, at least the following PRINCIPLES:
1. INCLUSIVE IN ITS DEMANDS: To assume a political position of solidarity with all the prisoners, disappeared, exiled and deported, even though we do not work directly with all, that is to say, whether or not they are part of the Other Campaign. To denounce and to mobilize against the repression or threat of repression that exists anywhere in our country, even when it does not affect adherents to the Other Campaign.
2. INDEPENDENTLY SUSTAINED: To maintain this fight with dignity, maintaining no bonds with the electoral parties, groups related to them or with electoral pretensions, neither with groupings of power whether they be syndicates, states, social or business mafias.
3. HONEST IN ITS WORK: To not supplant the prisoners, disappeared and exiled as their spokespeople, to not benefit politically or economically from the prisoners. To not conditionalize solidarity based on political, ideological or organizational affinities.
4. DIRECT IN ITS RELATIONS: To seek direct links with the prisoners, the exiled, and the relatives of those disappeared in the fight for freedom, with the people and movements who are victims of repression, and with those that face threats, persecution and exile; including them in the thinking, actions, and decisions of the national instancia against repression.
5. FOCUSED ON ITS PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Theoretical discussion, debate and sharing political analyses and reflections are necessary and important, but the instancia (FNCR, or CNCR, or FNCR, or whatever it is called) has to define the places and times for these questions, so that they do not impede our joint actions against repression.
6. NATIONAL: and not focused on one city, region, movement or organization. Constructed from below, from each locality and each region.
7. HORIZONTAL AND PARTICIPATORY. That it is not entrusted to the “specialists”; that a management does not form, however collective it may be or seem to be; that we do not permit the division between those that give orders and make declarations on one hand, and those that work and make activism on the other. That it be, then, a space of encuentro, a network of organizations and actions, truly national, against repression.
8. WITH HISTORICAL MEMORY: That it recuperates and documents the experiences that have occurred in our country in this struggle, as well as the current affairs of its demands. And I am thinking of Mamá Corral, of Juárez City, Chihuahua, who, along with many other relatives of the disappeared, continue in the struggle for the presentation with life of their loved ones. That the recovery of our history, that is to say, of our memory, be from all the localities and from where it happened and happens, is something essential for all of us. And here I want to point out the privilege that we have to count on and see at our side the Union of Mothers with Disappeared Children of Sinaloa and the Committee of Mothers of the Political Disappeared of Chihuahua.
In addition to the principles, the OBJECTIVES should be clear (and I return to the reflections of those that convoked this Forum and others who joined it with their proposals).
1. FREEDOM and JUSTICE for ALL PRISONERS and the FREE RETURN OF THOSE EXILED and DEPORTED FOR THEIR SOCIAL COMMITMENT
2. PRESENTATION WITH LIFE OF THE DISAPPEARED
3. STOP the HARASSMENT and PERSECUTION OF SOCIAL FIGHTERS AND POLITICAL ACTIVISTS
4. DENOUNCE AND MOBILIZE TO STOP THE REPRESSIVE AND MILITARIST TENDENCIES OF THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT
5. PUNISHMENT FOR THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REPRESSION, AND JUSTICE FOR THE MURDERED, DISAPPEARED, EXILED, DEPORTED AND IMPRISONED.
The principles and objectives are what will give identity and direction to this national instancia against repression.
And, with identity and direction, we are able to specify a plan of action.
PLAN OF ACTION
1. TO PARTICIPATE, ALONG WITH OTHER FORCES, ORGANIZATIONS AND MOVEMENTS, IN THE REALIZATION OF A CENSUS OF POLITICAL PRISONERS.
2. TO WORK NATIONALLY, REGIONALLY AND LOCALLY ON THE OBJECTIVES, RECOGNIZING THE FUNDAMENTAL ROLE OF THE LOCAL. THAT WE BUILD IT FROM EACH LOCALITY AND EACH REGION SO THAT IT WILL TRULY BE NATIONAL.
For this we propose that, following the experiences of the work of the Other Campaign in each place it's been carried out, stable and constant working groups form (note: not bureaucracies) in order to respond, when needed, to....
1. The repression in each locality, region, zone.
2. Solidarity with the others.
3. Take propagandistic measures of prevention.
That they are a bridge, a permanent one, of support and solidarity between the victims of the repression, across the national instancia.
3. SHARING OF ADVICE IN LEGAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS WORKSHOPS.
4. PERMANENT CAMPAIGN OF PUBLIC PROPAGANDA, THROUGH ACTIONS, MEETINGS, POSTERS, LETTERS, MURALS, VIDEOS, RECORDINGS, INFORMATION TABLES, PERFORMANCES, CINEMA, THEATER AND ALL THE CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC WEALTH OF THE MEXICO OF BELOW.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
With the one year anniversary of his murder here, Brad Will is back in the media... mostly thanks to the efforts of John Ross. His parents and other family members, and some of his close friends, are the ones not letting the case rest, though. On Saturday I attended a memorial for Brad organized by them at St. Mark's Church in Manhattan's East Village. The request was that I speak to the context in Oaxaca surrounding Brad's death. After hearing how hard his parents and others are struggling to bring some sort of justice to Brad's case, I took it a bit further than that...
Brad Will in Context
on the one year anniversary of his murder in oaxaca
Delivered at his memorial on October 27, 2007
St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
Hi everyone. I'm RJ Maccani and I was asked to come and share a bit of the context in Oaxaca surrounding the murder of Brad Will. I'm very grateful that I've been invited to speak to all of you today, so many of Brad's family members and close friends. I'm going to put Brad Will not only within the context of what was going on in Oaxaca at the time of his murder, but also within a longer context of what is going on on this continent, and connect it back to New York City as well.
I knew Brad for several years. While I was in Oaxaca at the beginning of 2006 reporting for Narco News on the Other Campaign, I was reading dispatches from Brad who was in the Yucatán Peninsula reporting on... the Other Campaign. The Other Campaign is a new national movement to transform Mexico "from below and to the left," meaning a movement where the poor and working people of Mexico reclaim their right to live and to control their lives, to govern themselves without the deeply corrupted political class. This was an aspiration that Brad, living as he did in the USA, could relate to.
Indeed, it was presidential election time in Mexico when Brad arrived at the beginning of 2006 and the most popular candidate - the one who was expected to win and, so it seems, did win the most votes - was a guy named Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a candidate who said he was on the left and would solve the problems of the poor. This supposed "candidate of the left", Obrador, was the Mayor of Mexico City and during his tenure contracted the active support of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani - a leftist if there ever was one - to help him manage the city. Brad Will had spent many years defending squats, community gardens, and Reclaiming the Streets during that brutal period of "Giuliani Time" here in NYC. Brad came to Mexico to cover the Other Campaign, a movement that was against this friend of Giuliani and for direct, participatory democracy.
So it's no surprise that when the annual teacher's strike in Oaxaca exploded into a months-long experience of self-rule in June of that same year, Brad would again take notice. One of the reasons Brad said he wanted to go to Oaxaca was because he wanted "to be part of a revolution." In these times, that is quite understandable and commendable.
I want to place Brad in a much deeper context. Brad Will is part of a legacy that goes back over 500 years on these lands. Brad was inspired to go to Oaxaca by the authentic democracy he witnessed being practiced by the original inhabitants of those lands. You don't hear much about it, but the pilgrims and puritans were also running off in droves to join the "Indians." The Boston Tea Party and the US Constitution were inspired by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. You don't hear about that much and it's not really taught in schools yet, but it's that same story that Brad traveled to Oaxaca to tell.
So what was the context in Oaxaca when Brad arrived there? As I mentioned earlier, Oaxaca City and many other parts of the state were under direct control of the people. Police had been kicked out of the city for months and crime had gone down. The many different peoples who make up Oaxaca had already had alot of practice, or at least the memory, of running things themselves. Hundreds of municipalities still elect their representatives and run their lands through popular assembly. In June of 2006 they were rising up against decades of despotic, one party rule that was pushing them off of their land and into sweatshops. This uprising against tyranny and this example of a more authentic democracy is the story Brad went to Oaxaca to tell.
Arriving in Oaxaca City in October of last year was to enter a tinderbox. Paramilitary attacks were being undertaken against the movement throughout the city. Brad took up with members of the "Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca - Ricardo Flores Magón", or "CIPO," in their neighborhood of Santa Lucia del Camino. This was a tough thing to do. Anyone who had spent any time with the social movements in Oaxaca City - before or after the uprising - could tell you that Santa Lucia del Camino was also crawling with paramilitaries.
Rather than crawl under their beds and hide, the people of Oaxaca City - including the residents of Santa Lucia del Camino - went out in their streets and set up blockades to directly stop the paramilitaries who were roaming their streets, kidnapping and killing their family and friends. It was at a barricade in Santa Lucia del Camino where Bradley Roland Will, working as an Indymedia journalist, was shot and killed.
As has already been mentioned, the three most likely suspects in Brad's murder, the ones who were photographed firing guns on the barricade: Police Officer Juan Carlos Soriano, City Personnel Director Manuel Aguilar, and Public Safety Chief Avel Santiago Zárate, are still free, never even having been interrogated.
photograph published in El Universal
Why is everyone in power doing everything they can to avoid addressing the October 27, 2006 murder of Brad Will? The murders of Emilio Alfonso Fabián and Eudocia Olivera Díaz that same day? All the murders and disappearances in Oaxaca? Well, I think you can answer that question yourselves.
So what now? As I'm sure all of us here know, Brad loved Halloween. So it's only fitting that we remember Brad, and honor his memory, as this time of the year rolls around. As you also know, it will soon be Mexico's Day of the Dead as well... and you can be sure that the name Bradley Roland Will will be among those honored throughout Mexico this year, just as it was last year. So in honoring Brad, let us also honor all who have fallen and all who live and continue to carry on the long journey towards freedom.
It has been a year since Brad was murdered. The struggle continues in Oaxaca. I sincerely hope that you will all come back here to St. Mark's Church on Thursday to see the New York City premier of Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad - "A Little Bit of So Much Truth" - the best film yet on the recent happenings in Oaxaca... and Brad is of course a part of the story told. And what a better way to learn more about the context in Oaxaca during Brad's time there than to see a film that not only documents the same struggle against tyranny and for authentic democracy that Brad went to Oaxaca to cover, but that does it through the lens of the alternative medias employed by that same struggle?
And the Other Campaign that Brad covered eight months prior to coming to Oaxaca also continues throughout Mexico and here in the USA as well: from Movement for Justice in El Barrio's struggle against gentrification in East Harlem to this month's Gathering of Indigenous Peoples of América. And the powerful are continuing their plans as well: the Security and Prosperity Partnership - think NAFTA combined with the War on Terror - and Plan Mexico [Mérida Initative]. So not only is Mexico suffering under the dumping of subsidized US corn through NAFTA, which undermines local producers and forces them into multinational sweatshops, but now they could be faced with a hyper-militarized War on Drugs program that will, just as in Colombia, only strengthen the narco-traffickers hold on power.
So let's respond to the cynical and brutal plans of those in power with some plans of our own. What about a "Plan Turtle Island?"
Let us honor Brad Will by joining in that long tradition here of which he was a part. Let's join with the original inhabitants of these lands, and with everyone else in struggle, to fight together for authentic freedom.
That's all. Thank you.