Last week we heard that Lobo, known in Rojava as Elefteria Hambi, was martyred in Syria. After joining the YPJ in 2018 they moved to the mountains where they joined the YJA Star guerrillas and on the 25th of November 2019, they were murdered by the Turkish state during an airstrike. The news of their martyrdom was not made public until today.

Photo credit: IG @nehahirve
photo credit: IG @nehahirve

Lobo was without a doubt the bravest person I have ever met. For security reasons details will be spared on a public forum but we are aware of their involvement in some of the harshest and most catastrophic blows to those involved in the destruction of the earth and those perpetuating fascist ideologies in Europe in the last decade. They understood diversity of tactics not as a reminder that organising a demo or Food not Bombs was also a great way to fight against capitalism. They understood diversity of tactics as an invitation to imagine how much harder you can hit against the enemy that destroys this planet, the enemy that exploits the people in it and the enemy who abuses the animals that inhabit it. They were not worried about raising the bar and making those who destroy us feel what they need to feel.

Lobo was an exceptionally intelligent human being. I met them in Hambacher Forst, where we quickly gravitated to each other. They were reserved and I never learnt much about their personal life, but I slowly uncovered that they spoke six languages (which made for very useful communication when the cops were around!), that they were extremely fast doing maths in their brain and that they had read every book possible, yet they did not speak about theory and instead allowed their fight to embody their philosophy. We spent many days fighting, and many nights dreaming of a better world. We spent many weeks plotting and discovering ways to keep battling against RWE. They were by far my best accomplice in the woods.

One morning, when the police were putting pressure and attempting to evict barricades in the forest, Lobo was arrested. They had glued themselves to the platform of a tripod that stood in the way of the police, so cops had to cut around their hand and arrest Lobo attached to a huge plank of wood. When they arrived at the cop shop they fought multiple cops at once who were trying to remove the plank of wood with baby oil. By the time the plank came off every single cop was on the floor, covered in baby oil, and both of the fingerprint machines the cop shop had were completely destroyed. Even in captivity, Lobo would fight back. I was nicked whilst doing arrest support for them and saw the aftermath of that fight. The cop shop had no way of collecting any biometrics that day.

When we were released, Lobo realised that I had also been nicked just waiting for them outside the cop shop. They said, “That’s cute, let’s go steal some chocolate so I can do arrest support for you!”. Always cheery, savouring every victory, plotting the next solidarity attack.

When the government issued the first attack on Unoffensive Animal Lobo was there, shoulder to shoulder on a laptop, building back up the socials, the website, the fundraising options, and reassuring me that they wouldn’t just take the platform down. They believed in total liberation, they were an animal liberationist, and they embodied solidarity.

They have been missed for a long time, but now being certain of their martyrdom, they will be missed even more. Make no mistake, martyrs never die, but the struggle is going to have to do a lot more effort in order to fill the gap that Lobo leaves in the struggle.

They loved the animals, the trees and the fight.

I will howl at the moon for you every time something goes up in flames. We fight in your memory. We love you greatly.

Şehid Namirin

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