Renowned gay rights activist sets himself on fire in Brooklyn to protest global warming
The 60-year-old activist's remains were found in the Prospect Park, right before people flooded in to enjoy the spring weather.
An acclaimed gay-rights activist and environmental advocate, David Buckel, set himself on fire in Brooklyn on Saturday morning to protest global warming, according to reports. The 60-year-old activist's remains were found in the Prospect Park, right before people flooded in to enjoy the spring weather. Buckel was pronounced dead at about 6:30 am, according to police.
Buckel left a suicide note in a bag for police, which read: "My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide. I apologize to you for the mess." The note was reportedly left in an envelope labeled "for the police."
The note also mentioned that the activist self-immolated to protest climate change and his dramatic method signified a metaphor for how fossil fuels are destroying our planet. Buckel mentioned that he hoped his death was "honorable" and "might serve others."
The New York Times said that it also received a copy of the suicide note, which read: "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."
"This is not new, as many have chose to give a life based on the view that no other action can most meaningfully address the harm they see. Here is a hope that giving a life might bring some attention to the need for expanded actions, and help others give a voice to our home, and Earth is heard."
The activist also served as marriage project director at a national organization which fights for LGBT rights called Lambda Legal. He was reportedly the strategist behind same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa.
A former Lambda Legal lawyer, Susan Sommer, told the Times that Buckel "was all about justice, but he was also all about what it means to be human."
"He was a very smart and methodical lawyer. He knew his craft and his trade and was strategic in how to build the blocks toward a sweeping victory."