Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth
Diane Wilson is an activist, shrimper, and all around hell-raiser whose first book, An Unreasonable Woman, told of her battle to save her bay in Seadrift, Texas. Back then, she was an accidental activist who worked with whistleblowers, organized protests, and eventually sunk her own boat to stop the plastic-manufacturing giant Formosa from releasing dangerous chemicals into water she shrimped in, grew up on, and loved.
But, it turns out, the fight against Formosa was just the beginning. In Diary of an Eco-Outlaw, Diane writes about what happened as she began to fight injustice not just in Seadrift, but around the world-taking on Union Carbide for its failure to compensate those injured in the Bhopal disaster, cofounding the women's antiwar group Code Pink to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, attempting a citizens arrest of Dick Cheney, famously covering herself with fake oil and demanding the arrest of then BP CEO Tony Hayward as he testified before Congress, and otherwise becoming a world-class activist against corporate injustice, war, and environmental crimes.As George Bernard Shaw once said, "all progress depends on unreasonable women." And in the Diary of an Eco-Outlaw, the eminently unreasonable Wilson delivers a no-holds-barred account of how she-a fourth-generation shrimper, former boat captain, and mother of five-took a turn at midlife, unable to stand by quietly as she witnessed abuses of people and the environment. Since then, she has launched legislative campaigns, demonstrations, and hunger strikes-and generally gotten herself in all manner of trouble.All worth it, says Wilson. Jailed more than 50 times for civil disobedience, Wilson has stood up for environmental justice, and peace, around the world-a fact that has earned her many kudos from environmentalists and peace activists alike, and that has forced progress where progress was hard to come by.
Diane Wilson, a 4th-generation Texan shrimper, never planned to take on corporate chemical giants like Dow Chemicals or BP. In fact, until her 40s she had never been outside of her county, being more than content with her life as long as she could feel the bayou breeze on her salty skin. And although shrimp fishing yields were in a general decline, it was a story in the local paper that “unexpectedly” turned her life around: “…Calhoun County was number one in the nation for toxic disposal, and [we] had the distinct honor of containing half the hazardous waste that Texas generated.” Without any preamble Diane simply responded—as any reasonable person would, and set things in motion for a town meeting. Diary of an Eco-Outlaw takes readers on the wild ride of her life since that moment when she became an “environmental activist” – a word she had to look up in the dictionary.
Now over a decade later, Diane continues to fight corporate-induced environmental devastation and human atrocity, but this isn’t how she defines herself. Still living in her dilapidated rattlesnake-infested trailer, Diane hasn’t “become” an activist, she doesn’t plot and scheme against a targeted enemy, she simply responds to injustice with uncomplicated clarity and conviction about right and wrong. Diane lives by following her moral compass and since most of us have lost our direction, she is an anomaly; consequently, she has had more than her share of jail cells, crazy ideas and protests, human tragedy, duplicity, and danger. Her prose is vivid and immediate, punctuated with wit, sass, and raw candor. You will laugh, cry, rage, and cower at the profit-driven disregard for human life and the unadulterated efforts for corporate accountability by this ordinary woman: an extraordinary role model for the rest of us.