Friday, November 7, 2008

Sali Eiler and Brad Will remembered on the Day of the Dead

In San Cristobal de las Casas, adherents to the Other Campaign set up an alter for our fallen comrades. Sali Grace Eiler and Brad Will's pictures were up there with Subcomandante Pedro, Comandante Ramona, Andres Aubry, Digna Ochoa, Che Guevara, and many others. I've published photos of the alter.

Sali and Brad's families wrote the following letters for the Day of the Dead. Chiapan activists passed out about 100 copies of the letters in the central plaza of San Cristobal where they set up the alter, and copies also went out over Other Campaign listservs.

From Sali's family:

Marcella "Sali" Grace Eiler
September 30, 1987—September 15, 2008

Sali is loved and cherished as a daughter to Barbara Healy and John Eiler, a stepdaughter to Catherine Eiler, a sister to Claire Eiler, Cavan Telford, and Erin Telford.

Sali was a citizen of our planet. Sali believed that the earth and the animals and people who inhabit it have the right to grow and thrive, and deserve respect.

Sali was young, beautiful, had a powerful heart and a deep passion for justice.
  • Sali supported animal rights, and fought against cruelty in animal experimentation.
  • Sali worked with "Food Not Bombs" in a number of North American cities, recovering food and turning it into hot meals available to anyone. She believed food is a right, not a privilege.
  • Sali worked with "Los Sobravivientes", teaching English to Central American torture survivors who had come to live in Oregon.
  • Sali worked with "Cascadia Forest Defenders" saving the last of the old growth tree forests in Oregon from logging.
  • Sali contributed to "Indymedia", a collective of independent media organizations and journalists offering grassroots coverage of news events in communities throughout the world.
  • Sali worked with "No Mas Muertes", a humanitarian movement that provides water, food and medical assistance to migrants walking across the Arizona desert.
  • Sali worked with "CIPO-RFM", a movement that promotes peaceful co-existance of autonomous, self sufficient communities and indigenous people, and defends the territorial, economic, social, political and cultural rights of those communities and individuals.
The brief outline above highlights issues that spoke to Sali. These are a piece of the whole. Sali was so much more. She was a singer, a banjo player, a dance teacher and performer, a band member of Cinzana, an accomplished artist in North America and Mexico. A wonderful cook and herbalist, a beloved daughter, sister and loyal friend to many. An inspiring humanitarian, a courageous woman of warmth, laughter and endless energy who believed anything was possible. Any change achievable. Any goal possible.

Marcella "Sali" Grace Eiler was raped and murdered on September 15, 2008. Our family and friends throughout North America and Mexico deeply mourn her loss. We feel the outpouring of love and support coming from Sali's people in Oaxaca, in Mexico, and across North America. We appreciate all that you have done and will do in Sali's memory.

Justice must be served in Sali's cruel and tragic death.

*********************
From Brad's family:

October 27 will mark the 2nd anniversary of Brad's death, just before the Day of the Dead celebration of fallen loved ones. We would like to take this opportunity to send our love and support to all of the other families who have lost loved ones and found themselves, like our family, at the mercy of the impunity that exists in Mexico.

Our family misses Brad desperately and his wonderful sense of humor. We are so proud of the his legacy, his efforts to help the downtrodden and his hope to give a voice to the voiceless.

Brad was filming in Oaxaca with the intention of doing a documentary based on the situation there. He was trying to expose the deaths that occurred to demonstrators and the lack of accountability by the authorities. What he was attempting to document is exactly what happened to him. He was shot by the paramilitaries and, since then, the authorities have attempted over and over again to ignore the facts and blame the innocent. The "investigation" that has been carried out at both the state and federal levels has treated the case (and Brad's life) with callous disregard. From the outset, there has been a concerted effort to "drop" the case for lack of "evidence". EVIDENCE - take a look at his video!! Is there any question where the shots came from? And now, to add insult to injury, the prosecutors are attempting to frame innocent people for his death. Many of those people that were near him at the time he was shot not only knew him, and loved him, and respected him BUT ALSO put their own lives at risk in an attempt to save him. We will not rest (nor will Brad) until justice is served!!

We thank you for your commitment to truth and we commend your efforts to remember those that gave their lives for their beliefs in justice.

The Will family
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