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News :: Civil & Human Rights

Local Musician Martyrs Himself for Peace

I heard you, Malachi Chicago Indymedia has learned that last Friday local music and art afficianado and peace advocate Malachi Ritscher burned himself to death on the side of the Kennedy Expressway near downtown Chicago during the morning rush hour. Near Malachi's remains, police found a camcorder with videotape inside and a homemade sign that read "Thou Shalt Not Kill."

Besides the note and videotape at the scene, Malachi also left a longer letter explaining his actions and his motivations. "What is one more life thrown away in this sad and useless national tragedy?" he wrote. "If one death can atone for anything, in any small way, to say to the world: I apologize for what we have done to you, I am ashamed for the mayhem and turmoil caused by my country."

Malachi was among more than seven hundred peace protesters who were illegally arrested on March 20, 2003, when thousands turned out to protest the beginning of the U.S. war on Iraq. His death, to date has received very little news coverage — and outlets that did report his death treated it as a simple suicide and the cause for slower-than-usual traffic that morning. The contents of the videotape he left have not been made public. Read more here, here and here.

Malachi's websites: savagesound | myspace

Coverage of Nov. 18 Memorial Actions: Chicagoans remember Malachi Ritscher, protest war | Campaign: "I Heard You, Malachi" | Photos | More photos

Additional Coverage: | Chicago Reader | Infoshop | Gapers Block | Pitchfork Media | Danny Schechter - News Dissector | Chicago Sun-Times


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