Brad Will, Rest in Peace

At 1:30 pm and then again at 2:30 pm on Sunday, 29 October 2006, the Surveillance Camera Players didn't really "perform," but simply used a webcam installed in Times Square (New York City) to broadcast to an international audience their outrage over the shooting death of Brad Will, a video journalist and writer from the New York City Independent Media Center, by plainclothes local police officers in Oaxaco, Mexico, two days previously. There wasn't enough time to write a "proper" play, just enough to say Brad Will Rest in Peace and Long live the Oaxaca Commune. The center of the protests, both on that day and especially the following one, was the Mexican Consulate, just a few blocks away.

The response was interesting: while one woman thanked the SCP (it seemed clear she knew about Brad's death), another used the reference to Oaxaca to expound upon its virtues as a tourist destination, which, of course, was unfortunate, given the local hostility to tourism in general and American tourists, in particular. By and large, the response to the news that a journalist had been murdered "in the line of duty" was serious and respectful. If Bill is not mistaken, he overheard a man say ". . . it'll be on the news," as if he'd been saying, "Well, if it's true, and this isn't just a Times Square nutjob, it'll be on the news." By "the news," he could only have meant the "mainstream," corporate-controled news. Well, sir: "it" has been on "the news," on CNN and so forth. What do we do now?

On this occasion, the SCP -- on the verge of its 10th anniversary -- consisted of Bill and David; Kim grabbed the jpgs. As always, there was a short line of tourists waiting to use the webcam (and their cellphones) to communicate with the folks back home. There were no problems with either Times Square "Business Improvement District" security guards or the NYPD.

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