The following speech by the political organisation SYPG, and Komîteya Kedkarên trade union was givenas Michael Israel’s remains were sent back to the US
Brothers and Sisters,
On behalf of the Komîteya Kedkarên, the new trade union confederation here in Rojava and the SYPG, we salute the martyr Michael Israel, known here as Robin Agiri. We send this mournful salute to his family and his friends, and also to his comrades in his party the Democratic Socialists of America, and to his brothers and sisters in his unions the SEIU, and the IWW. In his own words he came here not just as an antifascist but also to fight against capitalism and imperialism.
We recognise one of our own; his struggle did not begin here in Rojava, he was a worker and part of the workers movement. He knew our strongest weapon is organisation, and at home he fought against low pay and casualisation. Like the best of us Michael knew the class struggle takes many forms; sometimes it takes place with a clipboard and union rulebook in your hand, sometimes with a rifle. Therefore, when he heard the call to defend this new society, he did not hesitate to come here and serve the people.
He falls. But he lives on: for we will carry forth his struggle. We will struggle in the workplace and the community and when it is necessary the battlefield, for a just and equal society, for a life of joy and purpose. All those that take inspiration from Michael Israel’s example will see that he lives on. In this way although he has fallen, he has also become immortal – the martyrs are immortal – şehit namırın.