Wynn Alan Bruce Set Himself on Fire Outside Supreme Court in Apparent Call for Climate Change Action: Friend

A Colorado man burn yourself Outside the Supreme Court on Friday, a climate activist is organizing an apparent protest about political inaction on global warming, according to a friend.

Wynn Alan Bruce, 50, set himself on fire in the courthouse square around 6:30 p.m. Friday, police said. He was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries the next day. A photographer and devout Buddhist from Boulder, Bruce appears to have been planning the move for some time, Dr Kritee Kanko said on Sunday. on Twitter.

“This action is not suicide,” writes Kanko, a climate scientist and Buddhist meditation teacher. “This is an act of profound compassion without fear to draw attention to the climate crisis.”

Members of his family and the many people who identify themselves as his friends online, including Dr Kanko, could not be immediately reached for comment by The Daily Beast. In one interview with New York Times, Kanko explained that she couldn’t be sure of Bruce’s intentions, and added that although “everyone is suffering from climate grief and despair,” she doesn’t want young people “to start think about self-immolation.”

While it is unlikely Bruce left a note or manifesto, a Facebook account identified by Kanko as his for Times was saturated with concern about climate issues. Between sharing links to articles and praising activists like Greta Thunberg, Bruce only seemed to hint at his plan once, in a comment below a 2020 post about the science behind global warming. The comment was originally read as “4-1-1”, written in April 2021. Last October, Bruce edited it to add a fire emoji. On April 2, as Earth Day approached, he updated the comment again to list a date: “4/22/2022.”

In addition, Bruce posted a photo in January in memory of Thich Nhat Hanh, an anti-war activist and Vietnamese monk who passed away that month. Mr. Hanh is well known through a 1965 letter he wrote to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about the legacy of Vietnamese monks who set themselves on fire to protest the war raging in their country. In the letter, which was shared by Kanko in another Twitter post on Sunday, Hanh wrote that “burning herself with fire is to prove that what people are saying is of paramount importance,” praising the action. This is brave and sincere.

Self-immolations in the US are rare but not entirely unheard of, even in the wake of climate change protests. In 2018, environmental and civil rights attorney David Buckel set himself on fire in Brooklyn. In a statement he emailed to multiple news outlets on the morning of his death, Buckel explained that “his early death from using fossil fuels reflects what we are doing with the self”. Other self-immolators include Arnav Gupta, an artist who set himself on fire in 2019, and Mohamed Alanssi, an FBI informant who survived self-immolation to protest his handling by the agency. in 2004. Both men set themselves on fire outside the White House.

In several countries outside the United States, self-immolations have claimed the lives of dozens of political protesters. Over the past 13 years, nearly 160 Tibetan Buddhists have set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese government’s violent repression of the country and their national identity.

Bruce belongs to Shambhala, a Buddhist organization born of Boulder. According to other members.

Last December, Bruce posted a quote attributed to Carl Sagan on his Facebook. “Don’t sit this out,” he read. “Doing something. You are – by chance of fate – alive at a completely pivotal time in the history of (y) our planet.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Message Line crisis by texting TALK to 741741.

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