Shaun King Deletes Praise of ‘Martyr’ Willem Van Spronsen’s ‘Beautiful’ Anti-ICE Manifesto

Brian Hildebrand/YouTube, Shaun King/Instagram

Shaun King, a columnist at the Intercept and alumnus of the New York Daily News, praised the antifa activist who was killed while attacking a migrant detention facility in Tacoma, WA, in a series of social media posts he has since deleted.

On Monday, King described 69-year-old Willem Van Spronsen as a “martyr” for approaching a building used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), armed with a loaded gun and throwing incendiary devices at cars and a propane tank. An ICE spokesman told Breitbart News that the attack “could have resulted in the mass murder of staff and detainees housed at the facility had he been successful at setting the tank ablaze.”

“Willem Van Spronsen just became the firsty martyr attempting to liberate imprisoned refugees from a for-profit detention center in Tacoma, Washington,” wrote King. “His hero was John Brown — the white abolitionists who led the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. This is what our country has come down to.”

“He wasn’t crazy – inaction is,” King said in reference to Van Spronsen, shortly after calling his manifesto a “beautiful, devastating letter.”

The manifesto, while echoing “concentration camp” rhetoric from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), also called on fellow “comrades to arm themselves,” even if that meant they had to “ignore the laws” on procuring weapons. Van Spronsen wrote that he was bringing a “home built unregistered ‘ghost'” AR-15 rifle, a strictly regulated type of gun, to his final confrontation with law enforcement.

Van Spronsen’s death amounted to “murder,” King continued.

“This is where Willem was murdered this weekend,” he said. “His actions will be called terrorism and people will call him crazy, but neither are true. His mind was very clear. He is now ‘arm in arm with John Brown.’ These camps must be shut down.”

Only weeks before this attack, King told his readers that the “concentration camps” for asylum seekers who do not use legal ports of entry should be “liberated” in an Intercept op-ed titled “History Has Taught Us That Concentration Camps Should Be Liberated. We Can’t Wait Until 2020.”

“I swear, I am not trying to be inflammatory,” King wrote. “I don’t mean this as a threat of violence or physical force, but I thought that concentration camps were supposed to be liberated. I thought that kids being held against their will in such atrocious conditions were supposed to be rescued.”

However, in a personal tweet, freed from the control of editors, King contradicted that call to non-violence, citing a famous phrase from Malcolm X: “We should liberate them NOW – by any means necessary.”

King still has a post up on Instagram with a photo of Van Spronsen — more measured in its commentary, but whitewashing his attack as only targeting “empty buses.”

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.


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