Climate Activist Dies After Setting Himself on Fire Outside U.S. Supreme Court Building on Earth Day

A climate activist died after setting himself on fire in an apparent protest outside the United States Supreme Court on Earth Day.

Wynn Alan Bruce, a 50-year-old photojournalist and Buddhist from Boulder, Colorado, suffered from his critical injuries at around 6:30 p.m. on April 22, according to the police.

The Supreme Court Police, U.S. Capitol Police, and Metropolitan Police Department responded to the scene.

A medical helicopter transported Bruce to a local hospital where he died on April 23.

The area was closed to the public after the incident.

Buddhist priest Dr. K. Kritee, who claimed to be friends with Bruce, said that his death was “not suicide” and that he had been planning for it for at least a year.

“This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis,” Kritee said on Twitter.

In a October 2020 post on his Facebook page, Bruce left a comment with a fire emoji and the date of his death.

Bruce’s final post on his Facebook on March 28 was a screenshot from the New Yorker with the words, “I am alive. I am breathing. The air that is unhealthy for sensitive groups anchors me.”

Bruce captioned that post, “This is not humor. It is all about breathing.”


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