The Last Words of Willem Van Spronsen

After reading the last words of Willem van Spronsen, we were overwhelmed by a sense that they should be plastered across every visible surface on earth. Here’s the beginning of our modest attempts to make that a reality.

From our afterword (partially adapted from CrimethInc.) —

In the places we live, immigration enforcement raids target our friends and neighbors, people who have lived alongside us for years or decades. As familiar faces vanish from our communities, the obedient Americans among us are convinced that this is the way things are supposed to be: entire families being disappeared to nameless prisons, sure – as long as it’s obeying the letter of the law and we don’t have to see it.

At the border, the survivors of a boundless, unforgiving desert are arrested and corralled into concentration camps. The survivors of the camps are then shipped away to detention centers – often privately owned, for-profit facilities. Some people grow rich off of federal contracts and the misery of migrant families. Some people throw children in concrete cells, collect a paycheck, and console themselves with the knowledge that they were “just doing their jobs”. An order is an order, after all – just ask the obedient, law-abiding citizens who guarded the camps of 1940s Germany.

Law is what defines certain people as lesser. Law is what justifies every act that follows. Law is what keeps every camp running.

Willem van Spronsen was born in the Netherlands, shortly after that country’s time under Nazism. He envisioned a world greater and kinder than any we might live to experience. He would still carry that hope in his heart while watching America reveal the terror and brutality at its core. His last act was to declare: never again.

Every person in this country has a choice between neutrality and partisanship; passivity and action; obedience and refusal.

To repeat a question:

You don’t have to burn the motherfucker down, but are you just going to stand by?