As Professor Jacobson blogged Saturday, “Willem Van Spronsen, 69, of Vashon Island, Washington, attacked an ICE Detention Center in Tacoma earlier today with incendiary devices and while armed with a rifle. He was killed in a shootout with police.”

Sunday evening, the Antifa site ItsGoingDown published Van Spronsen’s manifesto, portraying him as a martyr for the cause.

The screed is lengthy, dramatic and disjointed, but the bits seized upon because of their connection to other individuals include the reference to detention centers as “concentration camps,” a comparison that landed AOC in hot water with anyone who has read a history book and his suggestions that his “comrades” arm themselves for the coming revolution.

When I was a boy, in post-war Holland, later France, my head was filled with stories of the rise of fascism in the ’30s. I promised myself that I would not be one of those who stands by as neighbors are torn from their homes and imprisoned for somehow being perceived as lesser.
You don’t have to burn the motherfucker down, but are you going to just stand by?

This is the test of our fundamental belief in real freedom and our responsibility to each other.
This is a call to patriots, too, to stand against this travesty against everything that you hold sacred. I know you. I know that in your hearts, you see the dishonor in these camps. It’s time for you, too, to stand up to the money pulling the strings of every goddamn puppet pretending to represent us.

I’m a man who loves you all and this spinning ball so much that I’m going to fulfill my childhood promise to myself to be noble.

Here it is, in these corporate for profit concentration camps.
Here it is, in Brown and non-conforming folks afraid to show their faces for fear of the police/migra/Proud Boys/the boss/beckies…
Here it is, a planet almost used up by the market’s greed.

I’m a black and white thinker.
Detention camps are an abomination.
I’m not standing by.
I really shouldn’t have to say any more than this.

I set aside my broken heart and I heal the only way I know how—by being useful.
I efficiently compartmentalize my pain…
And I joyfully go about this work.
(To those burdened with the wreckage from my actions, I hope that you will make the best use of that burden.)

To my comrades:
I regret that I will miss the rest of the revolution.
Thank you for the honor of having me in your midst.

Giving me space to be useful, to feel that I was fulfilling my ideals, has been the spiritual pinnacle of my life.

Doing what I can to help defend my precious and wondrous people is an experience too rich to describe.

My trans comrades have transformed me, solidifying my conviction that we will be guided to a dreamed-of future by those most marginalized among us today. I have dreamed it so clearly that I have no regret for not seeing how it turns out. Thank you for bringing me so far along.

I am antifa. I stand with comrades around the world who act from the love of life in every permutation. Comrades who understand that freedom means real freedom for all and a life worth living.

Keep the faith!
All power to the people!
Bella ciao.

Reporter Andy Ngo believes he’s identified footage of Van Spronsen in video footage of a December Antifa protest in Seattle.

 
 
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