Robert Gordt joined the Kurdish YPG militia in March of 2017 and was martyred near Raqqa on July 5th. Robert (or Rob or Bobby as some knew him) had a long history of political activism stretching back to the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. While the first wave of foreign volunteers who traveled to Syria in 2014 and 2015 were mostly military veterans, many of the current fighters are members of various anarcho-communist movements back home. Rob was one of them.
Yesterday, a memorial service was held in Manhattan for Rob with members of the Kurdish diaspora, local political activists, and Rob’s family members. Usually it would be bad form to use a memorial service as a jumping off point to discuss politics, but in this case the service itself was so inherently political that it seems like an unavoidable subject. Further, based on what was said about Rob and who he was, it seems unlikely that he would have objected to his death being used as a platform to discuss his closely-held beliefs.
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