Neil Czerno was a nonviolent activist, founded Open Source Resistance, and an important person in the world of Year Zero. It is also likely he was the leader of Art Is Resistance. Neil is portrayed by Emmy award winning actor Monti Sharp.
Open Source Resistance
Troubled by some "scary shit on the web," Neil founded Open Source Resistance. The website went live in March of -15 BA and he asked people to submit artwork to the website so they could be rebroadcasted in a number of ways. He organized murals in London and Los Angeles, and was interested in getting messages out on multiple platforms.
The 2/22 attacks on Los Angeles changed the perceptions that Americans had on subversive art. Terrorists had been using graffiti tagger Waylon Quine to collect photos of their targets (with their infamous list of ‘challenge tags’ texted to his cell phone). When this was discovered, people began to believe that the methods OSR employed were no longer harmless, and OSR must be stopped. Neil was ordered to take down opensourseresistance.net; he refused, and was arrested and jailed for two years.
After Neil was released, he picked up right where he left off. He was involved with underground music, produced podcasts, shot guerrilla video, and published websites accusing the government of censorship and authoritarianism. In –8 BA he was caught slipping a subversive video into a news broadcast.
After the video incident, Czerno fled to Europe, where his actions were celebrated at first. However, his support dwindled as people began to accept the tyranny they were once trying to prevent. Eventually he was denied work permits, and his wife contracted ovarian cancer. When he attempted to access public health care, he was turned away. The United States attempted to plea-bargain with him, but he refused, even though it would have saved his wife's life.
French authorities seized Czerno's daughter, and required that he surrender his visa. He was extradited back to the United States on Jan 15, 0000. On Feb 4, 0000 he was executed.
- Neil was executed Feb. 4, 0000, one day after a post on Another Version of the Truth was made, talking about how the creator of Art Is Resistance was "disappeared" by the government. Many people speculate that Neil Czerno was also the leader of Art Is Resistance.
- Interestingly enough, in the story it mentions that Neil's wife encountered cancer, forcing Neil to turn to the French government for help. The auto-reply to email sent to the address found on the Secure Broadcast Informatics website contains an anonymous e-mail to Francisco about his lack of cooperation with the BoM and mentions his wife having breast cancer. Add to this the fact that Neil is a webmaster, and the email from Francisco indicates he is an IT Specialist who handles internet bandwidth for clients, and that they both have a definite advocacy of free speech; while there is no hard evidence at this point they are the same person, the parallels are interesting to note.
Appearances in Year Zero
Art is Resistance *possible