Man Who Shot Himself in DC With “Tax the 1%” Sign was Leo P. Thornton and He was Only 22-Years-Old

by Scott Creighton

His name was Leo P. Thornton
His name was Leo P. Thornton
His name was Leo P. Thornton

A year or so ago I wrote about a man who set himself on fire on the lawn facing the capitol. It was covered very briefly by the MSM then dropped immediately. His family issued a statement saying he was mentally ill and that was it. His message lost in a sea of capitalist, mammon worshiping loathing.

This past Saturday, another man took his life in front of the Capitol steps. With his little backpack and a rolling suitcase, he faced the building where our elected officials sell us out to the oligarchs of America everyday. He had taped a little sign with a timely message on it to his hand so it would remain long after he did. And then the despair the 1% and their accomplices in Washington have inflicted upon so many of us took it’s toll on him as he raised a gun to his head with his other hand and ended his life.

He was 22-years-old.

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Man Kills Himself Holding ‘Tax The 1%’ in Front of the Capitol — and Nobody Hears About It

(The same time this happened, the House is set to repeal the inheritance tax or the so-called “death tax”. Fox News would have you believe this tax is on everyone and any little business owner is going to have to fork over money to the state when he dies rather that transfer it to his kids. In reality, it doesn’t kick in unless you transfer more than 5 million in your estate. That means only the top 1% of the top 1% would ever be taxed with the estate tax. They are getting ready to give the richest of the richest yet another prize while putting the burden of that missing 280+ billion dollars in revenue right on the shoulders of middle and working class America. That’s why his death, his symbolic gesture was ignored by the press. Because the billionaires who own those networks will be directly harmed if his message were to resonate in the public mind.)

from Raw Story

When 64 yr old Vietnam Vet John Constantino burned himself to death on the DC Mall in October of 2013 I couldn’t stop thinking about this man and his act. Who was he? What compelled him? What was his life’s story? What were his political views, his life’s station, etc?  I wanted to write a blog then but didn’t.

On the kind of beautiful sunny day when hope springs eternal, an older gentleman wearing a backpack walked over by the fountain in front of the Capitol Building in Washington DC. And a sign. According to people who saw him, it said simply

“Tax The 1%”

The police captain on the scene who addressed the news cameras eerily avoided the question, mumbling that it was “something about social justice,” as if he were annoyed to address any specifics. So, we know nothing else. Not even a name was given. A dog run over by car might have gotten more respect and news coverage than this unknown man.

What kind of a society have we become? A man decides to commit suicide as an act of political courage, and is dismissed by both the police and media as unworthy of further examination?

When a man in Tunisia set himself on fire in protest of the draconian taxation and intimidating police enforcement of the state (not unlike in Ferguson and most American racially and financially-motivated policing toward Black Americans) it led to the Arab Spring.

[read more here]