The unexpected and tragic death of the anthropologist, activist and author David Graeber has lead to an outpouring of grief and remembrance from across the globe. David’s work as a theorist was never afraid to ask difficult questions. His essays and books, including: ‘Debt: The First 5000 Years’, ‘Bullshit Jobs’ and many more; are constant reminders that another better world is both possible and worth fighting.
He was also committed to living his ideals in practice as well as in theory, with a firm commitment to organising and activism. David was involved in direct action, activism and protests throughout his life including from the anti-globalisation movement to the Occupy protests. He was also firmly committed to standing in solidarity with the peoples of Kurdistan and Turkey.
Kurdish activist Hawzhin Azeez said: “David was a friend to the Kurds at a time when we had none. As the oppressed, we needed intellectuals of such giant proportions to stand in solidarity and unwavering support with us. The greatest act of love that we can in turn do is uphold his legacy by reading his seminal writings and to keep him alive and ever present in our work and struggle as Kurds, activists, leftists, as anarchists and as lovers of freedom and hope. Yet David Graeber is not lost to us; his legacy, his values, his ideas live in the olive orchards of Rojava, in its communes and in its cooperatives.”
David travelled to Rojava and Southeastern Turkey (Bakur) in solidarity with those struggling against Turkish state oppression. In 2015 he went to monitor the Turkish elections, answering a call from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and saw tanks, heavy artillery and village guards deployed at the polls to intimidate Kurdish voters.
At a protest outside the UK Turkish embassy earlier this year David outlined why he supported calls to boycott Turkey:
David was a friend of all oppressed and free peoples, an incredible writer, and a true revolutionary. We would like to express our deepest condolences and extend solidarity to all those who were close to David. His words live on in our hearts as we fight for a better world. Rest in power.