Renowned US Lawyer Self-Immolates in Climate Change ‘Protest Suicide’

Renowned US Lawyer Self-Immolates in Climate Change ‘Protest Suicide’
AP Photo / Jose F. Moreno, PoolSociety20:43 15.04.2018Get short URL1


The charred body of a famed attorney, known for his impassioned struggle for LGBT rights and environmental issues, was found Saturday in a New York City park near a walking path.

David Buckel doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire, having left two notes near the scene. In one he identified himself and said that he had committed a protest suicide. In the other one, a copy of which he had sent to The Daily News newspaper, he at length explained his motives.

He said he wanted his death to boost action with regard to the pervasive ecological catastrophe. “Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result – my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” read the note.

READ MORE: Breathtaking Ignorance: BP Suggests Ecological Catastrophe Good for Economy

Buckel added that he hoped that his demise was “an honorable death that might serve others.”

Buckel had worked as the marriage project director for famed Lambda Legal, the US’s first legal organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Buckel had earlier gained fame as he represented in court Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was killed in the state of Nebraska in 1993. The story was portrayed in the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry,” and actress Hilary Swank received an Oscar for her portrayal of Teena. Twitter users immediately recalled this, when sharing their R.I.P. comments:

Some said Buckel’s marriage rights legacy would by no means be forgotten.

Buckel’s suicide resembles harsh protests by self-immolation from past years. For instance, Buddhist monks burned themselves to death to rebel against a repressive regime in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.