Early in the morning on July 13, Willem Van Spronsen, a former member of Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, was killed in an altercation at a facility adjacent to the Northwest Detention Center.

We’re stunned, shocked, and saddened by his death. Will was known for his kindness, gentleness, and warm heart. He was a father, a folk singer, and friend.

Will cared deeply about making the world a better place and he felt injustice towards others as personal as a wound. He took direct action to protect traditionally marginalized and threatened communities. The rounding up of our neighbors into for-profit detention centers was not a semantics debate for Will, it was an abomination.

We are mourning and hope that in the days, weeks, and months ahead, people who knew and loved Will can find a way to grapple with his loss and honor his memory. Will often talked of being useful. If you need to take something away from his action we hope it’s that if the rest of us were all more useful towards compassion and justice then he could have stayed with us.

Rest in Power Will. The people who knew you love you.


John Brown holding up his hand. Rest in Power, Will!