Black Lives Matter activist and Intercept columnist Shaun King praised an attempted domestic terror attack on Twitter yesterday, comparing the terrorist to abolitionist John Brown and saying that he was "the first martyr."
In a Twitter thread, King compared Willem Van Spronsen, who was killed in a shootout outside an ICE detention facility, to John Brown, the pre-Civil War abolitionist. The 69-year-old Van Spronsen attacked the facility early Saturday morning, throwing incendiary devices and armed with a rifle. He lit one car on fire and attempted to blow up a propane tank before he was shot and killed by police.
"Willem Van Spronsen just became the first martyr attempting to liberate imprisoned refugees from a for-profit detention center in Tacoma, Washington. His hero was John Brown -the white abolitionist who led the raid on harpers Ferry in 1859," King wrote. "This is what our country has come to."
A subsequent tweet saw King praise Spronsen's manifesto, describing it as a "beautiful, painful, devastating letter." In the manifesto, Spronsen wrote that "it's time to take action against the forces of evil."
"Detention camps are an abomination. I'm not standing by. I really shouldn't have to say more about this," the manifesto reads. Spronsen added he would "joyfully go about this work," and strongly encouraged "comrades and incoming comrades to arm themselves."
"He wasn't crazy — inaction is," King wrote.
"His actions will be called terrorism and people will call him crazy, but neither are true. His mind was very clear," King continued.