Former Occupy Wall Street protester killed fighting ISIS

2017-07-13 10:10
In this 2011 photo Amber Oestreich and Robert Grodt rest on a mattress in New York's Zuccotti Park.  (Mark Lennihan, AP File)

In this 2011 photo Amber Oestreich and Robert Grodt rest on a mattress in New York's Zuccotti Park. (Mark Lennihan, AP File)

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Albany - A former Occupy Wall Street protester and volunteer medic who had taken up the cause of the Middle East's Kurds was one of two American volunteers killed while fighting against the Islamic State group in Syria.

A US-allied Kurdish militia said on Tuesday that Robert Grodt, 28, and 29-year-old Nicholas Alan Warden died in battle last week.

The People's Protection Units, also known by their Kurdish initials as the YPG, announced on Tuesday the Americans died in battle in Raqqa, the base of the Islamic State group in northern Syria. Warden died on July 5, and Grodt on July 6.

Grodt had been active in several causes in the United States, even meeting his partner, Kaylee Dedrick, of Albany, when she was pepper-sprayed at the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests.

The pair's daughter, Tegan Kathleen Grodt, born in September 2012, was dubbed the First Occubaby.

Grodt's former boss Spike Murphy told the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper that Grodt was a passionate man who followed his heart.

"He lived very much in the moment. He would throw himself into something wholly without thoughts about that future for himself, which got him in trouble sometimes," said Murphy, who was Grodt's boss while campaigning for Equality California in Santa Cruz and the Central Coast.

Murphy and Grodt also worked together campaigning and supporting the America Civil Liberties Union, Oxfam and Amnesty International.

They were not members of the US special forces embedded with the Syrian coalition.

Read more on:    isis  |  syria  |  us  |  syria conflict

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