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“Armed 69-year-old ‘antifascist’ shot dead after firebombing immigration centre
“A rifle-armed 69-year-old has been fatally shot by the police after throwing incendiary devices at an immigration centre in Tacoma, Washington
“Officers were called to the privately run prison at around 4am where the man, identified in local media as Willem Van Spronsen of Vashon Island, had set a vehicle alight with the explosives.
“He is also believed to have attempted to ignite a large propane tank outside the building.
“His target, the Tacoma Northwest Detention Centre, has long served as a holding facility for migrants as they are about to be deported.
“More recently it has also housed parents separated from their children at the border under Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy towards undocumented immigrants.
“The incident took place roughly six hours after a peaceful rally against deportations outside the centre.
“Officers confirmed Van Spronsen was shot dead at the scene, with all four attending officers discharging their weapons.
“He was described locally as a committed anarchist and antifascist. One friend of twenty years, Deb Bartley, told The Seattle Times she and others had received letters from him which read “just saying goodbye” along with what she described as a manifesto.
“She added: “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs… I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”
“Van Spronsen is believed to have had previous run-ins with law enforcement at the detention centre.
“In 2018 he was reportedly among ten people to be taken in by police after occupying the perimeter of the site – with the then 68-year-old arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault for jumping on the back of an officer as he attempted to apprehend another activist.
“Deb Bartley, a friend of Van Spronsen, told the Times that he identified as an anarchist and anti-fascist (Antifa), and she believes his intent in attacking the center was to provoke a conflict.
“2020 presidential candidate and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee connected Trump to the attack. “Along with many Americans, I object with every fiber of my being to Donald Trump’s inhumane treatment of immigrants in America,” he tweeted. “But violence is not acceptable. We must be better and seek non-violent ways of pursuing the better world we want, as many groups are doing.”
One Antifa account called RevAbolitionMov with nearly 3,000 followers wrote, “RIP to anarchist fighter Willem Van Spronsen. The attack on the [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] facility in Tacoma is a proportionate action against enslavers and internment camp operators. He joins a long list of fallen anarchist martyrs who fought for a liberated world!”
A domestic terrorist attacked an ICE detention center today. He attempted to blow up a propane tank & threw incendiary devices. He died after a shootout. Leftists are praising him under #WillemVanSpronsen trend.
#WillemVanSpronsen targeted ICE infrastructure in a bid to save lives. He is a hero, and we grieve his loss. Rest in Power comrade.
his name was Willem Van Spronsen. he was a 69 year old elder comrade who last year tried to free a 17 year old from police during a protest at the same ICE center. he literally gave his life for the cause. rest in power. remember him.
Shaun King called for the “concentration camps” to be liberated “by any means necessary” — are we now going to have a national conversation about how leftist rhetoric contributed to violence?
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