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Self-immolation

Aaron Bushnell Opposed ‘All State-Sanctioned Violence’

Levi Pierpont’s voice was steady, the day I called him to ask about his friend Aaron Bushnell. “He was the sweetest guy you’d ever meet.” The 23-year-old Air Force veteran was talking about one of his military peers — whose name was suddenly everywhere. Four days earlier, on Feb. 25, Bushnell had set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., to protest U.S. support of Israel’s war on Gaza. I’d reached out to Pierpont because he’d left the military last year as a conscientious objector, long before the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that burst the blister of Israel’s long siege.

US Soldier Reveals Why Aaron Bushnell Self-Immolated

One week after Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire in an extreme act of Protest for Palestine – the world has been awe-struck by his galvanizing act of courage, with his last words being Free Palestine. Across the world, including in Yemen and Gaza, Bushnell is being memorialized as a martyr for Palestine as Israel continues its genocide in Gaza that has left over 30,000 people dead. His protest was not only moving but stood in stark contrast to the empty rhetoric given by so-called liberal politicians who’ve done very little to stop Israel from continuing its war on civilians.

No More Aaron Bushnells

For a week straight I’ve had a picture of Aaron Bushnell ingrained in my head. It’s not a picture from his protest for Palestine where he self-immolated in a desperate cry to end a genocide. It’s his Air Force recruitment picture which has circulated online. The picture feels like a sick joke. It’s a picture of a kid with a smile so full of life, wearing a t-shirt with the logo of an institution that exists to snuff out life on a grand scale. It’s sick that this happens, that so many kids join such a vicious institution. It’s sick that the military, which is currently aiding a genocide, preyed on this kid with a giant smile and filled him with so much despair and guilt that he felt his only option was to livestream himself burning to death, to remind people that’s what the U.S. military does and is currently doing to Palestinians by aiding Israel.

Chris Hedges: Aaron Bushnell’s Divine Violence

Aaron Bushnell, when he placed his cell phone on the ground to set up a livestream and lit himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C., resulting in his death, pitted divine violence against radical evil. As an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, he was part of the vast machinery that sustains the ongoing genocide in Gaza, no less morally culpable than the German soldiers, technocrats, engineers, scientists and bureaucrats who oiled the apparatus of the Nazi Holocaust. This was a role he could no longer accept. He died for our sins.

What Aaron Bushnell Had To Teach Us

On December 1, 2023 an as yet unknown person self-immolated outside of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia. It is strange that no one was ever publicly identified, that no name, age, or gender was ever revealed. There were no follow-up stories as to their condition or whether any criminal charges were filed against them. The public hasn’t been informed as to this person’s current whereabouts. We only know that this person was taken to the hospital in critical condition and that a security guard who tried to extinguish the flames was himself burned, treated at a hospital, and later released.

Why Would Anyone Kill One’s Self In An Attempt To Stop A War?

Four years ago in 2018, after returning from a Veterans For Peace trip to Viet Nam, I wrote an article called “Why Would Anyone Kill One’s Self In an Attempt to Stop A War?” Now, four years later, in the past three months, two persons in the United States have taken their own lives in an attempt to change U.S. policies on Palestine and call for a Ceasefire and stop US funding to the State of Israel that would be used to kill in the Israeli genocide of Gaza.   A yet unidentified woman, wrapped in a Palestinian flag,  set herself on fire in front of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia on December 1, 2023. 

US Soldier Self-Immolates In Opposition To Israel’s Genocide In Gaza

Aaron Bushnell, an active duty member of the US Air Force, set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington DC on Sunday, February 25 to protest Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza and his country’s support to the war. Bushnell live streamed his “extreme act of protest” on Twitch and stated, “I am an active duty member of the US Air Force and I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it is not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”

South Korea: Labor Union Leader Sets Himself Afire

A South Korean union leader has ended his life, enraged in anger and humiliation as the government attempted to bring racketeering charges against him over union activity. On the morning of May Day, Yang Hoe-dong, a chapter leader of a national construction workers union, set himself on fire at a courthouse where he was summoned to a hearing for the review of an arrest warrant for him. He was pronounced dead at the hospital the following day. The death was in protest of attacks by the government of President Yoon Suk-yeol on the 160,000-strong Korean Construction Workers Union and its rival union since February, when Yoon declared some of the unions’ activity “construction thuggery” and tried to eliminate it.

Wynn Alan Bruce: Climate Activist Dies After Setting Himself On Fire

A climate activist has died 24 hours after setting himself on fire on the steps of the Supreme Court on Earth Day. Colorado photojournalist Wynn Alan Bruce, 50, suffered critical injuries in the incident at 6.30pm Friday on a plaza in front of the court. He was airlifted to hospital, where he died Saturday. Capitol Police, Supreme Court police, and DC police all responded to the incident. “A medical helicopter just landed near the Capitol for a medical emergency. This is not a public safety issue,” Capitol Police tweeted. Mr Bruce ran a portrait photo studio in Boulder, and his social media account was filled with posts about the environment and Buddhism. He also left a cryptic post on his Facebook page with a fire emoji and the date of his death 4/22/2022.

Remembering Norman Morrison: Sacrificed Himself For Vietnamese

By Brian Willson for his website. Fifty years ago today, November 2, 2015, at about 5:20 p.m., a 31-year-old Quaker named Norman Morrison immolated himself 40 feet from the window of US Secretary of War Robert McNamara’s office at the Pentagon. During an incredible dinner conversation with an educated Vietnamese family in Can Tho City, I was stunned to discover that the Vietnamese deeply revered Norman for his “constructive” sacrifice. They sang for me, in English, “An Ode to Norman Morrison,” that included the words: “The flame which burned you will clear and lighten life and many new generations of people will find the horizon. Then a day will come when the American people will rise, one after another, for life”. I wept as I grasped the extraordinary meaning that Norman’s life and act had on an entire nation of people, even though unrecognized by his own country’s citizenry.
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