October 31, 2006

Arrested for Remembering Brad Will

As I walked to the consulate from the train I stopped to have a conversation with two “Punk” kids walking downtown. The male-bodied person had a giant Mohawk, and a studded jean jacket with a drawn on peace sign on their lapel and a Circle-A on their back. The female-bodied person had scene-ish hair with a “Rough” twist and a riot girl fashion line up. I approached them and explained the current situation in Oaxaca and what had happened to , “My friend Brad.” I also told them about the vigil and celebration that was going to happen in about an hour or so, and invited them to join. The male-bodied person looked at me and said, “Dude we don’t protest, we are not into politics.” “What?! What the fuck do you think that Circle-A on your back means?” I responded, in what I have to admit was a rather hostile tone. “It means punk!” I have heard this answer before. Without responding I just turned and walked away. It was at that very moment that I concluded that Punk was dead.

There were already a few people at the consulate when I arrived, mostly ANSWER folks. As the minutes ticked by, some fellow anarchists and Indymedia journalists also began showing up. I started holding up my sign with Brad’s picture and the years of his birth and death on it. People were making their signs, and altars, arranging flowers and candles, and holding placards to inform the people driving by about the horrible atrocities that are being committed in Oaxaca. It was at this time that “Officer Friendly” (His name is not officer friendly, but it sounds nicer than “Lieutenant Jack Ass” or just plain “Douche Wad” while still maintaining that great sarcastic Chicago “fuck you” attitude) approached the grieving crowd and began to hassle many people creating a memorial for Brad.

Maybe I should have stayed off to the side where I was. Maybe I should have just kept holding my sign up to the road. But I did not. I walked over to officer friendly and Chris, the person he was eventually to arrest, to see what was going on. My emotions have been really insane since I had found out Brad died, and that surely played into the events of Monday afternoon. I am not going to detail the next few events leading up to my arrest because I feel that is unnecessary but what I do want to say is that , other than the immediate moments after I had found out Brad was murdered, I have never felt such intense rage, hatred, and sadness before in my entire life. I feel that if I had wanted to, in the heat of the moment, I could have really hurt someone. My adrenalin was pumping like it never had before and “Officer Friendly” was just not helping the situation. So I ended up in the slammer but not before “Officer Friendly” admitted to being a Fascist.

Jail was absolutely ridiculous. For about six hours Chris and a I sat in this room, that was more of a club house for lazy police officers than a holding facility for supposed “criminals.” We got to hear officers make racist, queer-phobic, and sexist slurs non-stop. We also had the pleasure of hearing officers cheer when the news reported that 3 civilians had been killed but only one officer had been shot in the hand at Augusta and Kedzie. This is how sick these people are. They celebrate when civilians or “bad guys” are murdered in their own neighborhood. After hours of jerking us around and upon arrival of “Officer Friendly” we found we were being charged with “disorderly conduct… maybe.” More jerking around, and more jerking around. Until finally we are told that one of us (me) was being taken to 111th and State and the other (Chris) was being taken to Grand and Central. When one of the officers transporting Chris asked, “Why are we taking them all the way out there?” Officer Friendly replied, “Special Orders” Cleary they were trying to break us. It wasn’t working, we continued to snicker at how childish they were.

At around 9:15 or 9:30 my transport to 111th and State began. The two officers continuously spewed out racist comments as if they were trying to provoke me. “Look at all those Nigger Monkeys on that front porch” they said referring to a group of black kids sitting outside of their house, “Hey why don’t you throw that banana your wife gave you at them and see how they jump all over it,” one officer said to the other. “My banana is worth more than that,” the other responded. I bit my tongue, knowing that if I responded It would just be another 12 hours before I was out.

Despite being on the very outskirts of the city, 111th and State was actually pretty cool . The guards were nice and agreed that it was bullshit that Officer Friendly had sent me all the way from Ashland and Adams to 111th and State. They treated me very well and had me out of there in about 4 hours or so.

Now, I am not sure what I believe in terms of after life theory but I do know that through this whole ordeal I was not alone. Even if none of us have spirits and Brad didn’t have a spirit, to me he was there. The whole time he was in my mind and in my heart because had he been alive, he would have been in jail with me. No doubt about it, that is just the person Brad was. He did not let them take a friend without a fight. He did not let them trample on his rights without a fight. And that is how Brad should be remembered. That is the legacy of Brad Will. We must step it up. We must stop simply chanting, “let them go” when they are dragging away a friend, or a non friend for that matter. If everyone there had said, “No! You are not arresting Chris. No! You are not arresting Tristyn!” We would have shown solidarity and more so our strength. I know that is a very privileged thing to say, and a very risky thing to do. However, if there is one thing we can learn from the death of Brad, and the people of Oaxaca is, without freedom we have nothing, so there is nothing to lose. Lastly, I want to thank everyone for their help and offerings.

Brad Will! Presente!
Viva APPO!

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1 Comments:

Blogger mikal maxwell said...

I WANNA BE FRIENDS WITH YOU because of what you said...

re: punk is dead

do you play music? or enjoy it?

in october of 2001 i saw some dumb, dumb old fashioned and not very well thought out protesting among "anarcho-socialists" and it got me thinking...deeply. been thinking about it since -- i mean oct. 2001. in philly...they were moving mumia abu-jamal, noted death row resident and philadelphia radio personality/dissident author from cell to cell -- and also protesting a meeting of the capitalist american corrections association.

they profit heavily from overcrowded jail conditions...anyway to make a long story short --

the street punks were dumb. not well thought out. "lemming" comes to mind over and over. do you think about this?

i think dumb street protesting makes the State STRONGER -- and it's hitting me lately as oil prices escalate the major split in thought - living communally and sharing in a non propertarian fashion i.e. crustypunx or hippies/freegans/realrainbow people versus...

the jails of stalin's russia, the work camps and siberia and so forth.
if you'd like to have a dialogue about this - i wish you'd message me back.

i am just an old anarchist with some experience in the streets and radical AMONG radical ideas...

mikal x

Saturday, November 04, 2006  

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