This one is particularly hard to write up, we we’re going to turn it over to Rob’s friend Justin:
“Rob Grodt grew-up in California and later moved to New York, where he worked as a journalist and welder.
After hearing about the struggle of the Kurdish people in Rojava (Northern Syria) to resist Daesh (aka ISIS), he chose to put his own life on the line to help fight against them. In the spirit of the Spanish Civil War International Brigaders, he made his way to Rojava to lend his support to the liberation war against Daesh and to building a free, democratic, secular, multicultural autonomous state in Rojava.
On July 6, Rob and several comrades were killed during a particularly fierce gun battle, taking back the Daesh caliphate’s capital of Raqqa in vicious street-by-street gunbattles. Twenty eight international volunteers have given their lives fighting alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) so far.”
In his final video message, Rob explains his reasons for traveling halfway around the world and risking his life to fight fascism.
Rob leaves behind his loving partner and their four-year-old daughter. Rob’s friends have set up a crowdfunding page to put together a fund to help support his little girl.
Rob could have sat at home and done nothing. Instead he gave his life defending his principles and doing his part to liberate the city of Raqqa from the black cloud of fascism. Making sure his family is taken care of is the very least we can do for this hero. In a thank-you note back to the Defence Fund, Rob’s friends wrote: “Thank you very much for this generous donation comrades. With your support, we will keep Rob’s memory alive and his daughter will grow up knowing how deeply loved and respected he was.”
ROB GRODT PRESENTE!
NEVER FORGET! NEVER FORGIVE!
BIJI BERXWEDANA ROJAVA!
When Islamophobic asshats came to Harrisburg, PA on May 10th, were the police out in force to prevent them from intimidating local Muslims? No, the cops came out to try to thwart the anti-fascists there to confront the bigots in solidarity with our Muslim friends, family, and neighbours.
And when the cops couldn’t provoke seasoned antifa from doing anything outrageously stupid, they just shoved random people and then slapped charges on them. Like one of our friends, who was shoved backwards by the po-po into a police charged and then immediately arrested on absolutely ludicrous charges. Adding insult to injury, the judge then set bail at $100,000.
This isn’t the first time The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund has had to contribute to to the bailout & legal defence of an anti-fascist framed by the cops and it’s not likely to be the last, either. But we’re happy to be in a position to do so thanks to the hundreds of supporters that have made donations to the Defence Fund in the past. Make sure we’re always able to defend & support anti-fascists and anti-racists whenever they run into trouble by making a donation today!
Imagine walking into your favorite bar in Tulsa, OK and quickly discovered a group of loud racist assholes in there dropping n-bombs and making racist jokes. What would you do?
If you’re anything like our man Peter, you’re going to let them know that that shit is not welcome in your bar, even if you’re outnumbered. Even if you’ll probably get jumped by the racist cowards.
Which, unfortunately, is what happened, leaving Peter with some serious medical bills + some time off work to heal.
We at The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund weren’t going to sit on our hands and let Peter struggle to recover on his own, so we kicked some cash into his crowdfunder. Here’s what Peter had to say about all the support he received:
“Despite constant harassment, threats and sabotage by alt right, Trump supporters and local racists, I am recovering fine. The fact is Tulsa is super racist and the assholes I got in a fight with targeted me because I am an outspoken antifascist and have, in fact, called them out for creeping on drunk women and neo-nazi graffiti. I live in a town with no antifascist activity. I live in a town that routinely kills black men. The support I have received worldwide has exceeded my wildest expectations and i have no idea on how to thank you all (I’m kinda choked up thinking about it) so thank you so much for your support. I can only repay it by continuing to overcome all hurdles and organize as an ex-prisoner for IWOC/IWW.
Solidarity, Love and Struggle.
If our contributions keeps Peter in the fight in Tulsa, then that’s money well spent! Help us help the Peters of the world by donating to the Defence Fund today!
Not sure where that whole month went – one minute we’re posting our annual report and the next minute it’s the Fourth of July! Here’s what The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund has been dealing with over the last month or so:
1) Portland. If you’re reading this blog you’re probably also familiar with the incident in Portland where a white supremacist, verbally abusing two teenaged Muslim girls on public transit, expressed his objections to bystanders asking him to stop doing so by stabbing three of them, killing two and hospitalizing a third. This seems like exactly the kind of thing the Defence Fund was set up for. Except when you factor in how well-publicized and well-supported the Portland anti-Islamophia Good Samaritans were. Within days no fewer than five different crowdfunding campaigns were set up and by the time we got to our decision those campaigns had collectively raised $1.5 million for the three intervenors + two victims of the initial verbal threats.
In the end, we decided that it’d be better for us to save the little we have in the Defence Fund for anti-fascists and anti-racists whose circumstances were not as well-publicized or supported. Which segues nicely to:
2) Harrisburg. The problem with confronting fascists is that their big buddies the cops will intervene to arrest or harm you, usually before your efforts can amount to anything. This was the case for a friend from Philly, who went to Harrisburg to confront an Islamophobia rally only to be shoved by one cop back into a police horse, which was all the excuse the cops needed to lay no less than five separate charges, including assault on a police horse! Bail was set obscenely high and so our pal was compelled to rely on support from other anti-fascists, which the Defence Fund was happy to contribute to.
We also received a few other requests for support but were either unable to confirm the circumstances of the case or a verifiable way to deliver material support to the person(s) in question. Some of those we are still pursuing though + there is another proposal that we should reach a decision on this week, so stay tuned!