Read something awesome, cannot remember title or author
August 20, 2014 12:43 PM   Subscribe

A woman in the 60's was a pretty extreme activist, sabotaging oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Years ago I read what I believe was an excerpt of a book she wrote - the piece was published in a feminist anthology.

I am giving so little to work with here - surely someone will know what I am talking about...

(also she was caught and did some time at some point...)
posted by Golem XIV to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think it was Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, but there's enough overlap with her book Outlaw Woman in the little detail you've offered that it's worth mentioning!
posted by tapir-whorf at 12:56 PM on August 20, 2014

I suspect this person was the inspiration for this episode of Castle.
posted by nicebookrack at 3:06 PM on August 20, 2014

Location of actions would be wrong but could it be Ann Hansen?
posted by latkes at 3:22 PM on August 20, 2014

1) Are you sure you're not conflating Alexandra Harris, a Greenpeace activist who was put on trial for attacking a Gazprom oil well, with Alexandra Harris, the writer, who has written a number of things about Virginia Woolf? Or that it was the 1960s?

2) Positive it was the GoM? In the late 1960s/early 1970s, the environmental movement was strongly focused on the Trans-Alaskan pipeline, and managed to get construction briefly halted in 1970.

3) You might find something in these books and articles by women involved in ecofeminism.

4) A famous incident occurred in 1995 in the North Sea when Greenpeace activists occupied the Brent Spar storage buoy. This is a stretch, but it's been written about a lot as an aside in connection with the feminist movement as an example of protest. For example, this woman, Cynthia Carter, has a few articles where she might have made a connection.

5) In 1899, in Santa Barbara, a woman led the first every documented attack on an oil derrick. Here is an article/summation. Was the essay talking about her?

6) Lucy Lawless was one of the Greenpeace protestors aboard Shell's Noble Discoverer that went aground up in Alaska. It's Daily Mail, but it has pictures of that situation here (where it delightedly calls Lucy Lawless eco-warrior actress).

The thing is, I know of no oil rig sabotages in the GoM in the 1960s - that doesn't mean there weren't any, but I have all my histories of GoM exploration right beside me, and it doesn't list any - and of the sabotages I do know of/can look up, none of them are women. Here is a summation of incidents - I doubt it includes every one. Also, even though they would have been jack-up rigs at the time, it's kind of hard to attack an offshore oil rig successfully.

Also, as an additional-additional aside, there was a weird ultra-conservative crackpot theory that the BP oil spill was the result of ecoterrorists, and naturally the feminist movement got tied into it, possibly because some stupid thing the FBI said testifying before Congress about the terrorism movement and NOW - is it possible you heard something about that and it's tainting your memory of what you read?

I hope you find it, it sounds fascinating.
posted by barchan at 4:11 PM on August 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Thinking about this, maybe it was Judi Bari, the feminist leader of Earth First? She advocated non-violence, though.

Some of the incidents in this report about environmental and animal rights incidents in the US from 1970 on might be of interest or ring a bell (as well as just being fascinating reading).
posted by barchan at 6:34 PM on August 20, 2014

Diane Wilson? However, I believe she was more active in the 80s and later. But her book might point you in the right direction, maybe referencing the person you are looking for.
posted by salvia at 8:47 AM on August 21, 2014

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