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Funeral ceremony for four YPG internationalist martyrs

The funeral ceremony for the YPG’s 4 internationalist martyrs, Martyr Demhat Goldman (Robert Grodt from US), Martyr Soro Zinar (Luke Rutter from UK), Martyr Rodi Deysie (Nicholas Warden from US), and Martyr Zafer Qereçox (David Taylor from US) was held this morning in Derik.

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony, which began with a military exercise saluting the martyrs. A minute’s silence was followed by speeches in Kurdish and English.

Mothers carried the photographs of our fallen comrades as the martyrs‘ comrades carried those fallen on their shoulders to the border crossing in Semelka.

A speech was made by Cesur Herekol Israel on behalf of the General Command of the Internationalist Battalion

We publish the speech below:

Every single martyr for us is a promise for the victory. Our struggle against the terrorism of oppression and tyranny is a struggle that is in the name all humanity. Our struggle surpasses borders. We are fighting against the enemies of humanity. Serok Apo who lit the fire of freedom and revolution in Kurdistan once said that the movement is the movement of martyrs. Martyrs are our guides, our compasses, and our inspirations.
With the martyrdom of Şehid Demhat, Şehid Soro, Şehid Rodî, and Şehid Zafer; we renew our promises for victory of freedom and revolution. They have come from lands that are far away and wanted to know about the truth of fire. Through the struggle, they discovered that the fire illuminates, warms, and burns. They revolved around it with their courage and dignity without hesitation and were united with the fire. They are like thousands of others the only ones who know now the truth about the fire and will illuminate our path on the way to victory. In the very presence of them, we promise that we will never deviate from this path.

They have taken their places in the hearts of martyrs’ mothers and of the people of Rojava. We are proud of them. I myself met Şehid Demhat at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. He was a wonderful comrade and a true revolutionary who met the mother of his now four year old daughter while treating her as a street medic. When their daughter was born, she was called as ‘the child of the revolution.’ When he made the decision to join the Rojava Revolution, he knew that he might have to make the sacrifice he made. For him this sacrifice was not just about fighting fascism in the form of Daesh. It was also about providing peace not only for Rojava but also for all the Middle East and beyond.

When Şehid Soro joined YPG he said that he did this because YPG stands for the best opportunity for peace in the Middle East. He showed a great interest in the subjects and participated actively in the academy. In the collective life of YPG, he always helped his comrades and was respected by all. We have never seen him yelling at someone, complaining about anything. He deeply knew about peculiarities of the Middle East and was always eager to learn new things.

Şehid Rodi had already fought against the enemies of humanity in other parts of the world. But when he came to know about YPG, he also wanted to learn about Rojava Revolution. He was a true disciplined soldier and was a source of inspiration for all his comrades. He was generous in sharing his experiences and was self-giving in sharing responsibilities. He was a source of morale for everyone around him with his joy and sense of humor.

Şehid Zafer was also a wonderful comrade with high ethical and intellectual standards. He was honest and courageous. His integrity was impressive. His humility was inspiring. He had said that ‘The Rojava Revolution is honorable because it wants to grant equal protections and freedoms to women and minorities. This is unique in the region.’ He had gladly taken Qereçox as his second nom de guerre and heroically carried to the end.

We, as their comrades, will always be proud of them and will follow in their footsteps. There are already internationalist comrades who have taken their names. The fire of freedom and peace will continue to flame and spread to the Middle East and beyond. With this hope, courage, and determination; we say again Şehîd Namirin! Bîjî YPG and YPJ! Bîjî Serok Apo!


David Taylor ( Zafer Qereçox )

Latest international fighter to fall fighting ISIS with the Kurdish revolutionary forces is David Taylor from Florida, USA.

Rest in Peace

All talk and no action: The EU is still fond of Erdoğan

It came out that Brussels has not turned off the fountain of money to Ankara despite the crisis between the European Union and Erdoğan regime, with reports suggesting that the EU has paid a further 23 million Euros to the AKP regime since March 2017.

Repercussions of the German state’s sanctions on Turkey’s Erdoğan regime following the imprisonment by Turkey of human rights defender Peter Steudtner of Germany last week, continue. Peter Steudtner has been the 22nd German citizen to be detained after the July 15 coup attempt of last year and 9 German citizens are in Turkish prisons as of now.

The sanctions announced by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel are “EU funds”, “travel warning” and “reconsidering credit guarantees”. Yet, it came out that the European Union’s financial support for Ankara did not halt despite the crisis between the EU and the AKP regime.

Tensions between the European states and the Erdoğan regime hit the peak following the repeated bans imposed on the events and rallies the AKP sought to hold across Europe for 16 April’s referendum. Despite the fact that Erdoğan accused Europe of Nazi practices, the EU has not halted the financial aid for Turkey.

According to the German daily Bild, since March, the EU has paid Turkey a further € 23 million of pre-accession aid despite the fact that there have been a lot of calls for the payments to be stopped. With this, the amount Turkey has received from the EU up to today has reached 190.2 million Euros, while this figure was 167.3 million Euros by the end of March.

According to the Bild report, a total of 4.45 billion Euros has been earmarked for Turkey’s EU accession till 2020, and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn confirmed the recent payments.

Brussels has granted Ankara a total of €3 billion during the past three years for the sake of both pre-accession and the refugee deal. 3.3 billion Euros of this amount had been paid only between 2014 and 2016, bringing Turkey to the top of the list of countries benefiting from EU aid.


Salute to the Martyrs on the Fifth Anniversary of the Rojava Revolution

Today, July 19th marks the fifth anniversary of the Rojava Revolution. In commemoration, we, from the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement and Rojava Solidarity NYC, would like to extend our insurgent greetings. It is impossible to quantify the importance of the revolution for the Kurdish freedom struggle, for women’s liberation, the anti-state struggle, and for the larger drive for revolution globally. But in the annals of history we are certain that this revolution will be recognized at the forefront of the most important moments in revolutionary history.

Through decisive battles against Daesh in Kobane, the liberation of the Yazidis in Shengal, the eventual liberation of Raqqa, and the coming defeat of the reactionary Turkish state, armed forces have carved out a path for dignity.

The Democratic Confederalist movement, with its roots in feminism, anti-capitalism, anti-state struggle, and multiplicity have constructed the revolutionary paradigm of our day. With these pillars it is of utmost importance for anarchists to participate, learn, and fight.

As you walk, we will walk with you, and as you fight we will fight. It is through the path of shared struggle, that the Rojava Revolution will spread beyond national confines and become truly international as it ushers in a new period for the world. It is here that as anarchists we will begin eradicating borders, overthrowing capitalists regimes, and fighting against all racist, patriarchal and colonial states.

It is in this vein that we offer revolutionary salutes to those we have come to know as comrades through their martyrdom. Today we mourn the recently fallen comrade Shehid Demhat Goldman, also known as Robert Grodt, who was recently martyred in battle. Comrades on the front all spoke highly of Demhat and we here in NYC will make sure his name lives on in history.

Revolutionary salute to the martyrs Paolo Todd. Michael Israel, and Jordan MacTaggart. Through their sacrifice the struggle for revolution continues.

The fallen, from all backgrounds and identities, demonstrates the potential for true international solidarity. From Ivana Hoffman and Abu Layla, to Mehmet Yoldaşh and Arin Mirkan, we must honor their bravery and memorialize the joining of people in this fight for world revolution.

As our objectives unite, our fighters live and die together, and the fate of our struggles become intertwined making international revolution a viable option once again.

We send our greetings to comrades in the IRPGF, the IFB, the YPG, the YPJ, the SDF and all revolutionary forces in Rojava.

Long live the Revolution!
Long live anarchism!
Martyrs are Immortal!

#19Tîrmeh #BijiŞoreşaRojava

Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement

First, a Symbol of Occupy Wall Street. Then He Waded Into Syria

Robert Grodt was a volunteer medic at the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011, when he pulled Kaylee Dedrick, who had just been pepper-sprayed in the face, out of the crowd to treat her.

The pair quickly hit it off, and when video of Ms. Dedrick being sprayed in the face captured the world’s attention, the spotlight turned to their budding romance. They again garnered media attention the next year, when they had a daughter — quickly nicknamed “Occubaby” — because she was conceived in the protest camp in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park where the pair had been camped out.

But then he made a dangerous decision that few young Westerners have made — joining a Kurdish militia fighting in the Syrian War.

On Monday, Kurdish fighters announced that Mr. Grodt died on the outskirts of Raqqa, Syria.
Robert Grodt, who died fighting with Kurdish forces in Syria, with Kaylee Dedrick and their daughter, Teagan. The couple met during an Occupy Wall Street protest. Credit Photo provided by Tammy Grodt

Mr. Grodt, 28, had no military training and no previous connection to Syria. But he found himself on the front line of one of the most dangerous conflicts in the world.
Continue reading the main story

“Rob felt strongly enough that he was willing to risk and ultimately give his life,” said Ronald L. Kuby, a civil rights lawyer who met Mr. Grodt and Ms. Dedrick at the Occupy protest. “It was a powerful vision.”

Mr. Grodt’s family was told of his death by the State Department on Friday, said his mother, Tammy Grodt, but has few details on the circumstances of his death.

What they do have are two videos featuring Mr. Grodt and posted by the Kurdish militia he joined, the People’s Protection Units, known as Y.P.G. One clip posted in June details his rationale for joining the group; the second was released on Tuesday when the Y.P.G. announced he had been killed.

In the video, Mr. Grodt says he joined the militia because he was committed to the Kurdish independence movement. Kurds, members of a stateless ethnic group, have been fighting for autonomy in the region for decades.

“My reason for joining the Y.P.G. was to help the Kurdish people in their struggle for autonomy,” Mr. Grodt says. He also says he wants to fight ISIS.

The Y.P.G. has become a major player in the Syrian conflict, making up the bulk of coalition ground forces fighting the Islamic State in parts of the country. Although the coalition is backed by the United States, many of the Y.P.G. leaders have roots in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., which is on the State Department’s list of foreign terror organizations.

The coalition has pushed closer to the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in recent weeks, trying to wrest the city from the extremist group.

Mr. Grodt’s mother said she saw her son’s decision to join the militia as an extension of a life spent fighting for what he saw as a noble cause, and a penchant for fighting for the oppressed.

She remembered when he told her that he was hitchhiking across the United States from his home in California to join the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York.

“It was hard to let him go,” she said. “I wasn’t against it but I did tell him, ‘You are a braver, more adventurous person than I am.’ He was a medic for the movement, so it was not just to be there to cause upset. He was there for the solutions.”

She said that in Syria, he hoped to be part of reconstruction of areas destroyed during battle, and he wanted to raise awareness for the Kurdish cause.

Mr. Grodt’s sister, Meghann Conforti, said he had explained to her that he would be on the front line, information he initially kept from his mother.

After Mr. Grodt left the United States, he kept in sporadic contact with his family over Facebook and Skype, and he often spoke with Ms. Dedrick and their daughter.

On the same day that it announced Mr. Grodt’s death, the Y.P.G. announced the death of two other foreign fighters: Nicholas Alan Warden, an American, and a British citizen, Luke Rutter.

Mrs. Grodt said she last spoke to her son in May. The recent intensifying of fighting in the region had made it harder for him to get in touch, she said.

The clip offers a final message to his family.

“Just know that I love you all, and there is a lot that goes unsaid,” Mr. Grodt says, before directly addressing his 4-year-old, Teagan. “To my daughter, I am sorry that I am not there.”

The New York Times

IS recruiter Sally Jones ‚wants to return to Britain‘ from Raqqa

More: Sky News

An English YPG fighter on the road to Raqqa

Jack Hollmes, or as he is called in the YPG Şoreş Amanos, said „My goal is that all peoples of Syria and the world live freely“ on his way to Raqqa.

With Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens, and Assyrians, the Initiative to Liberate Raqqa has the diversity of Syrian peoples. Fighers march towards Raqqa side by side.

People from across the world also participate in the initiative. Jack Hollmes from England has been in the YPG for more than a year now. Known as Şoreş Amanos inside the YPG, Jack explains why he joined the fight against ISIS first in English and later in Kurdish. His Kurdish improved in a short period of time, he chats with Kurdish fighters in Kurdish.


Hollmes said „I don’t want the people here to be left in the dark. Not only the people here, but all peoples across the globe. I want them to live freely.“

Hollmes has been at the forefront of the initiative in Raqqa, and said that the city would surely be liberated. Lastly, Hollmes expressed his happiness and honor at fighting against ISIS on the road to Raqqa, and reiterated that ISIS gangs would no longer be able to harm the peoples of the region and the world.


Turkeys War on Kurdish Television

Ari Murad

International reaction against EUTELSAT-AKP fascism

IFJ-EFJ condemned the closure of Kurdish TV networks through the joint fascism of EUTELSAT and the Turkish state.

The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) yesterday organised a press briefing at the Brussels’ Europe Press Club to protest the on-going clampdown on media in Turkey and to urge the government to lift the ban on news channels.

The Turkish government recently shut down about 20 TV and radio channels, including the Kurdish Channel Med-Nuçe based in Belgium that was removed on 3 October by Eutelsat SA, a French satellite provider, on Turkey’s request.

In Turkey, 90 journalists are in jail, more than 2,500 journalists lost their jobs and arrest warrants have been issued against hundreds of media workers since the coup attempt on 15 July.

Speakers invited to the IFJ/EFJ briefing included Füsun Erdogan, freelance journalist for TV and radio channels Bianet, Özgür Radyo and Med Nûce; Baki Gül, journalist at Kurdish Channel Med Nûce and Bayram Balcı, journalist at Özgür Gündem. They shared their personal stories and called on the international community to take action against the discriminatory measures that Turkish authorities are using to silence criticism.

“I’ve spent 8 years in prison under false accusations and without trial,” said Füsun Erdogan. “Our responsibility as journalists is to inform the public and to report what is going on in Turkey.” Füsun Erdogan said he was falsely accused of being a membership of a terrorist organisation in 2006. After spending 8 years in jail, she went into exiled in the Netherlands.

Baki Gül denounced the arbitrary way in shutting down his channel which broadcasts from Belgium. The workers of Med Nûce TV have called on European institutions to put pressure on Turkey to respect fundamental rights and have questioned the legitimacy of the suspension by the Higher Council of Audio-visual in Turkey (RTÜK) of the channel that broadcasts from Europe.

Özgür Gündem journalist Bayram Balcı recounted how he was arrested and called on the European journalists to stand in solidarity with their Turkish counterparts.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger announced that IFJ will launch a solidarity campaign for Turkish colleagues, who are fighting to maintain their rights. “Turkey was the biggest prison for journalists in Europe before 15 July. Today, Turkey is, with China and Iran, one of the biggest in the world! We are not defending only free press or freedom of expression, we are defending human rights and citizen’s right to be informed,” said Anthony Bellanger, who also has called for global solidarity with Turkish journalists.

EFJ Project Officer Mehmet Köksal said that “The IFJ and EFJ have reported all the cases that took place in Turkey to the Council of Europe Platform for the promotion of journalism and the safety of journalits, and is keeping updated a list of jailed journalists in Turkey. It is a way of knowing how many days they have been in jail, so that we don‘t forget them“.


Keine Böhmermann-Ermittlung / Erdogan scheitert endgültig

Dieses Schmähgedicht muss er aushalten: Die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Koblenz wies Erdogans Beschwerde als unbegründet zurück – und bestätigt damit das Mainzer Urteil.

Der türkische Präsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan ist mit seiner Beschwerde gegen die Einstellung der strafrechtlichen Ermittlungen gegen Jan Böhmermann gescheitert. Die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Koblenz wies sie als unbegründet zurück. Ende März hatte Böhmermann in seiner ZDF-Show „Neo Magazin Royale“ das Gedicht „Schmähkritik“ vorgetragen, das aus lauter Beleidigungen bestand, um – wie der Moderator meinte –, vorzuführen, was auch in Deutschland nicht erlaubt sei.

Die Staatsanwaltschaft Mainz hatte gegen Böhmermann wegen des Verdachts der Beleidigung nach Paragraph 185 und 103 Strafgesetzbuch ermittelt, ihre Untersuchung aber mangels Verdachts eingestellt. Die zu klärenden rechtlichen Fragen seien von der Mainzer Staatsanwaltschaft „im Ergebnis zutreffend und im Einklang mit der Rechtsprechung beantwortet“ worden, stellte die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Koblenz fest. Die Entscheidung, dass Böhmermann mit seinem Schmähgedicht keine strafbare Handlung begangen habe, sei nicht zu beanstanden. Die Erfolgsaussichten einer Anklage seien gering. Nun kann Erdogan noch versuchen, durch ein Klagererzwingungsverfahren vor dem Oberlandesgericht Koblenz dafür zu sorgen, dass die Staatsanwaltschaft doch wieder ermittelt.

Doch auch wenn Erdogan den Weg der Klageerzwingung gehen sollte, seine Chancen dürften gering sein. Die Einlassungen zunächst der Staatsanwaltschaft Mainz und nun der Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Koblenz sind eindeutig. „Aus der maßgeblichen Sicht eines verständigen und zur Gesamtbetrachtung unter Berücksichtigung des künstlerischen Gesamtkonzeptes bereiten Beobachters liegt der Aussagekern der Darbietung des Beschuldigten in der Kritik an dem Umgang des türkischen Staatspräsidenten mit den Grundfreiheiten aus Art. 5 Grundgesetz“, schreibt der Koblenzer Generalstaatsanwalt Jürgen Brauer in seiner zwanzigseitigen Begründung zur Einstellung der Ermittlungen gegen Böhmermann.

Keine Beleidigung, nirgends

Es sei, „nicht zu widerlegen, dass die Darbietung aufzeigen sollte, wie weit aus Sicht des Beschuldigten die Vorstellungen des türkischen Staatspräsidenten von den Grenzen der Kunst- und Meinungsfreiheit von denen des deutschen Rechtsverständnisses entfernt sind“. Es sei „unzulässig, sich bei der Beurteilung der Darbietung auf den Wortlaut der Gedichtverse zu beschränken, ohne den Gesamtkontext, in den sie gestellt wurden, zu berücksichtigen.“

Der Deutsche Journalisten-Verband (DJV) teilte mit, die Entscheidung der Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Koblenz sei „erwartungsgemäß“ ausgefallen. Der türkische Präsident Erdogan, sagte der DJV-Bundesvorsitzende Frank Überall, „sollte seine Energie nicht weiter auf aussichtslose juristische Auseinandersetzungen verwenden, sondern sich stattdessen mit der gleichen Vehemenz um die Wiederherstellung der Pressefreiheit in seinem Land bemühen. Dazu muss gehören, dass die inhaftierten Journalisten sofort auf freien Fuß gesetzt werden.“


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