The New York Post reports that environmental activist and legal expert David Buckel has committed suicide in the name of environmentalism. The high profile lawyer, who made a name for himself as a prolific gay and transgender rights attorney, set himself on fire in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park earlier today.
From the New York Post:
"In a gruesome protest against the ecological destruction of the earth, David Buckel, 60, left behind a charred corpse and a typed suicide note that said he was burning himself to death using “fossil fuel” to reflect how mankind was likewise killing itself, police sources said.
He left the note behind in a manila envelope marked “To The Police,” recovered from inside a black metal push cart he discarded at the scene.
Witnesses report the scene was horrifyingly gruesome.
“It was just lying there, on its back, knees slightly bent like someone would lie on the sand at the beach,” said Irena Ryjova, 44, who rollerbladed past at around 7 a.m., less than an hour after the immolation.
“It’s a shock; it’s a shame,” said mom Dana Lall, as she shepherded a crowd of Catholic school kids past the gory scene, en route to a baseball game.
According to the New York Daily News, the note started off "My name is David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide. I apologize to you for the mess."
"My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” he wrote. “A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life ... Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purchase in death...I hope it is an honorable death that might serve others," he added.
Buckel's suicide in the name of political demonstration may be the most radical, and saddest, protest in recent memory.
Author's note: Suicide for any reason is always a tragedy and never the answer. If you or somebody you know are contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Buckel family.