Tacoma ICE Facility Terror Attacker IDed as Antifa Activist
The man killed in Saturday’s terror attack on an ICE contract detention facility in Tacoma, Washington has been identified as Willem Van Spronsen, a man with a record of attacking police during a protest at the facility a year ago. Antifa activists are claiming the attacker as one of their own.
Friends reportedly knew he was “saying goodbye” and had written a manifesto.
The Seattle Times reported on Van Spronsen:
…A protest outside the federal immigration detention center in Tacoma last year drew headlines when a 68-year-old man wrapped his arms around a police officer’s throat and shoulders in an apparent attempt to free another protester.
When police got the man into handcuffs, they found a collapsible baton and knife in his pocket, leading to criminal charges.
Early Saturday morning, that man, Willem Van Spronsen of Vashon Island, returned to the Northwest Detention Center, the holding facility for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, this time armed with a rifle and incendiary devices, according to Tacoma police.
Police said Van Spronsen tossed lit objects at vehicles and buildings, causing one car fire, and unsuccessfully tried to ignite a propane tank.
Officers were called by an ICE employee who saw the rifle. Soon after they arrived, officers reported “shots fired,” said Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool, although it is unclear who fired first or if Van Spronsen fired at all. The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office classified his death as a homicide.
…Deb Bartley, a friend of Van Spronsen’s for about 20 years, described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist, and she believes his attack on the detention center was intended to provoke a fatal conflict.
“He was ready to end it,” Bartley said. “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.”
She and other friends of Van Spronsen got letters in the mail “just saying goodbye.” He also wrote what she referred to as a manifesto, which she declined to discuss in detail but predicted would be taken by authorities.
Leftists and other Antifa activists celebrated Van Spronsen and his attack.
“RIP to anarchist fighter Willem Van Spronsen. The attack on the ICE 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!”
RIP to anarchist fighter Willem Van Spronsen. The attack on the ICE 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! https://t.co/teXxBeUTLU
— RevAbolitionMov (@RevAbolitionist) July 14, 2019
“A 69 year old man was shot and killed trying to liberate the Tacoma Washington ICE Detention Center today. His name was Willem Van Spronsen. He lived in Vashon Island. #AbolishICE”
““As far we know, Willem Van Spronsen is the first American killed attempting to liberate an American gestapo camp. There was a time when thousands of Americans, armed with the guns, attacked and liberated concentration camps … they were heralded as… “
“As far we know, Willem Van Spronsen is the first American killed attempting to liberate an American gestapo camp. There was a time when thousands of Americans, armed with the guns, attacked and liberated concentration camps … they were heralded as… https://t.co/nYDSBtPVMT
— Beth Foster (@BethneyFoster) July 14, 2019
“#WillemVanSpronsen is a martyr. ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿”
“#WillemVanSpronsen will always be remembered for his bravery. Fuck this camps. The families must be liberated.”
#WillemVanSpronsen will always be remembered for his bravery. Fuck this camps. The families must be liberated.
— liberatethecamps (@occupytheport) July 14, 2019
2012 video of Van Spronsen singing protest music. Before the attack Saturday the video had about 100 views. The first song has a line about ‘burning down the master’s house.’
2011 letter to the editor:
— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) July 14, 2019