by Willem Van Spronsen
(A note from Love and Rage) We decided to post the final words of the anarchist, anti-fascist and member of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club Willem Van Spronsen who was killed on July 13, 2019 in an attempt to attack the vehicles used for deportations at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. Everyone at Love and Rage has been deeply involved with the immigrant and refugee justice movement, in Utica and Upstate NY, as well as in Tacoma and Western Washington State. This was a political act yet an act of desperation. The details are still unclear about the final moments of his life but we would like to echo the words of Maru Mora Villalpando of the group La Resistencia that this is another tragic death at the hands of this prison for immigrants, of ICE and of the police. Perhaps if the Northwest Detention Center did not exist, if there were no concentration camps, if there were no deportations, Will would still be with us today. If anything, this tragedy has held a mirror up to the rest of us. Are we doing everything we can do to build mass movements to shut down the camps, to abolish ICE, to end mass deportations and mass incarceration? The IWW revolutionary martyr Joe Hill might have the best advice for all of us in moments like this: “Don’t mourn. Organize!” Rest in power, compañero.
there’s wrong and there’s right.
it’s time to take action against the forces of evil.
evil says one life is worth less than another.
evil says the flow of commerce is our purpose here.
evil says concentration camps for folks deemed lesser are necessary.
the handmaid of evil says the concentration camps should be more humane.
beware the centrist.
i have a father’s broken heart
i have a broken down body
and i have an unshakable abhorrence of injustice
that is what brings me here.
this is my clear opportunity to try to make a difference, i’d be an ingrate to be waiting for a more obvious invitation.
i follow three teachers:
don pritts, my spiritual guide, “love without action is just a word.”
john brown, my moral guide, “what is needed is action!”
emma goldman, my political guide, “if i can’t dance, i don’t want to be in your revolution”
i’m a head in the clouds dreamer, i believe in love and redemption.
i believe we’re going to win.
i’m joyfully revolutionary. (we all should have been reading emma goldman in school instead of the jingo drivel we were fed. but i digress.) (we should all be looking at the photos of the YPJ heroes should we falter and think our dreams are impossible, but i double digress. fight me.)
in these days of fascist hooligans preying on vulnerable people on our streets, in the name of the state or supported and defended by the state,
in these days of highly profitable detention/ concentration camps and a battle over the semantics,
in these days of hopelessness, empty pursuit and endless yearning,
we are living in visible fascism ascendant. (i say visible, because those paying attention watched it survive and thrive under the protection of the state for decades. (see howard zinn, “a people’s history of the united states.”) now it unabashedly follows its agenda with open and full cooperation from the government. from governments around the world.
fascism serves the needs of the state serves the needs of business and at your expense. who benefits? jeff bezos, warren buffett, elon musk, tim cook, bill gates, betsy de vos, george soros, donald trump, and need i go on? let me say it again: rich guys, (who think you’re not really all that good.) really dig government, (every government everywhere, including “communist” governments.) because they make the rules that make rich guys richer.
don’t overthink it.
(are you patriots in the back paying attention?)
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/ 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 been 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!