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Diary of an Eco-Outlaw

An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth

By Diane Wilson
Foreword by Derrick Jensen

Nature & Environment

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.


ForeWord Reviews-
A different kind of political battle inspired change in Diane Wilson, prompting her memoir Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth. Acting as a sequel to Wilson’s previous work, An Unreasonable Woman, this passionate memoir describes how a once-quiet shrimp boat owner and mother living in Texas becomes a true rabble-rouser who’s been jailed over fifty times for her activism. After reading a newspaper article about her area’s toxic waste disposal issues, she set up a meeting with an environmental group. “Things were set in motion and I know people sometimes expect more, but usually the simplest things start a hell storm,” she writes. “A month later the grubby world beyond my bay stomped me into something I had to look up in the dictionary to find out what it was. An environmentalist.” Her subsequent activism, from chaining herself to factory towers to going to jail, only fuel the flame that began with that single moment, that single decision to get involved.

"For my money, Diane Wilson is one of the best Texas writers, with a voice of wild, ringing, hair-raising beauty."--Robert Leleux, Texas Monthly

"When this fiery fisherwoman from small-town Texas with five kids and a high school education takes on the world's most polluting polluters--Formosa, Union Carbide/Dow, BP and, for good measure, Halliburton--watch out! You won't be able to put this one down. Having joined Diane in crashing Congressional hearings, bursting into corporate boardrooms, and shivering in the clinker, I can attest that Diane breaks all molds. She has no fear, knows no bounds, acts with her gut, and lives life with her heart. If that weren't enough, she is one of those rare gems whose writing is as unique and awe-inspiring as her life! Hollywood couldn't come up with a more original, inspirational character, nor could they find a more creative writer to spin her tale."--Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange

"Diane Wilson is a true hero. An outlaw in the Robin Hood tradition, she defies laws that serve modern feudal corporate barons in order to protect the rest of us. Her Diary is the fast-paced story of a most reasonable woman, a true-life odyssey that should be read by everyone who wants to live -- and pass on to our children -- a sane, sustainable, just, and genuinely thriving world."--John Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Hoodwinked, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and The Secret History of the American Empire.

"Another ecothriller from the powerhouse Diane Wilson. An unstoppable tale of true bravery. Mesmerizing, inspiring, awesome. I love it. This book will shake the ground beneath your feet."--Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and Pinhook

"Who would have guessed there could ultimately be such sweet joy blossoming from such heartbreaking dishonesty and howling raw pain? The beauty of Diane Wilson's soul will make tears of pride and patriotism spring from your eyes. The beauty of Diane Wilson's soul will give you hope for humanity-even those of you who are not generally disposed toward such dangerous optimisms. She has written another magnificent book."--Rick Bass, author of Nashville Chrome and Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had

"What taboos would you violate to stand up for what you love? Diane Wilson grabs unsuspecting readers from all walks of life by the guts in her sweet Texas lilt. She knows other people's suffering as her own, but she is always fully herself. She strips away the writer's ego and grandiose language to expose extraordinary evil and inspire us to act."--Aquene Freechild, Former U.S. Co-coordinator, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal

"Our country's real heroes are ordinary people like Diane Wilson-people willing to to battle the bastards to make a difference. Hers is a story that will make you laugh and make you cry, and even make you act. Diane's dedication is inspirational to all grassroots agitators for justice."--Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of The Hightower Lowdown

Kirkus Reviews-
In her down-home, sassy style, an environmental activist tells of her latest battles against polluting corporations.  Longtime Code Pink activist Wilson's sequel to An Unreasonable Woman: The True Story of Shrimpers, Politics, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas continues the saga of her direct actions against those who raise her ire. Still outraged by the 1984 Bhopal disaster caused by Union Carbide (now a division of Dow Chemical), she chained herself to a 75-foot oxide tower at Dow, where she hung a banner reading "Dow Responsible for Bhopal." Removed and arrested, she writes vividly of her treatment and the grim conditions at the county jail. Out on bond, she headed off in search of Warren Anderson, Union Carbide's chief executive at the time of the Bhopal disaster, first in Vero Beach, FL, and then in Bridgehampton, NY-a largely futile adventure, but one that she relates with great gusto. Wilson also proudly describes her noisy protest at a Texas fundraiser attended by then-Vice President Dick Cheney, where, disguised as a Republican donor, she screamed "Corporate Greed Kills" repeatedly until being thrown out, arrested and jailed. That she has deep skepticism of the EPA's criminal investigators is shown in her rather rambling story of working with whistleblowers who have inside information about hazardous conditions and cover-ups at Formosa Plastics, a local chemical plant. Perhaps her most dramatic public action was her appearance at the Senate hearings where Tony Hayward, then chief executive of BP, was testifying about the Deep Horizon oil spell. She poured a half-gallon of Karo syrup (which resembles crude oil) over herself before being removed and arrested yet again. At the book's end, the author is in Taiwan, attempting to present Code Pink's negative Black Planet Award to the family heading Formosa Plastics.  A folksy memoir from a gutsy, determined, well-connected gadfly who can write up a storm when not storming the barricades.


Diane Wilson

Diane Wilson

Diane Wilson is an eco-warrior in action. A fourth-generation shrimper, Wilson began fishing the bays off the Gulf Coast of Texas at the age of eight. By 24, she was a boat captain. In 1989, while running her brother's fish house at the docks and mending nets, she read a newspaper article that listed her home of Calhoun County as the number one toxic polluter in the country. She set up a meeting in the town hall to discuss what the chemical plants were doing to the bays and thus began her life as an environmental activist. Threatened by thugs and despised by her neighbors, Wilson insisted the truth be told and that Formosa Plastics stop dumping toxins into the bay.

Since then, she has launched legislative campaigns, demonstrations, and countless hunger strikes to raise awareness for environmental and human rights abuses.

Wilson speaks to the core of courage in each of us that seeks to honor our own moral compass, and act on our convictions. She has been honored with a number of awards for her work, including: National Fisherman Magazine Award, Mother Jones's Hell Raiser of the Month, Louis Gibbs' Environmental Lifetime Award, Louisiana Environmental Action (LEAN) Environmental Award, Giraffe Project, Jenifer Altman Award, Blue Planet Award and the Bioneers Award.

She is also a co-founder of CODEPINK, the Texas Jail Project, Texas Injured Workers, Injured Workers National Network and continues to lead the fight for social justice.



Diane Wilson (1) - Texas Gold

Diane Wilson at the Woodstock Forum

Diane Wilson (2) - Texas Gold

Diane Wilson - Climate Justice Fast - Day 24 Update

Finding our Way: Diane Wilson Interview

Diane Wilson's Keynote Address for Southeast Booksellers

Diane Wilson discusses her Pentacostal upbringing

Diane Wilson Video Introduction

Diane Wilson author of Holy Roller

Texas Gold Bottled Water commercial

Diane Wilson explains the 1984 Bhopal disaster

Diane Wilson, author of An Unreasonable Woman, at Bioneers

Unreasonable Woman - Diane Wilson

Diane Wilson Interviewed at Fairfield University

Diane Wilson Interviewed at Fairfield University

Where is the "Texas Gold"? (1 of 2)

Where is the "Texas Gold"? (1 of 2)

Where is the "Texas Gold"? (2 of 2)

Where is the "Texas Gold"? (2 of 2)

Diary of an Eco-Outlaw

Pages:256 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603582155
Pub. Date April 07, 2011

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 256 pages, $17.95