Despite a long history of supporting extreme tactics in his activism, Texas environmental leader Louis Moncivias Gutierrez is now criticizing some of the extreme tactics used by Texas Sierra Club activists. In a recent video, Gutierrez took aim at his fellow Texas environmentalists featured in a recent PBS documentary for locking themselves to construction equipment to intentionally get arrested:
“All we’re looking for – we’re not looking for the big companies because all you do when you go to the big companies or you go to a front line of these big companies, all you’re going to do is feed their law enforcement. Seen it done in West Texas, fed their law enforcement, all they did is some of them boys banged their drums on the side of the fence while the women went there and locked themselves down. Lock-down – how long does a lock-down start? How long does it last? Done properly, it lasts 30 minutes. It stops them for 30 minutes, but yet everybody gets a record, everybody gets a probation, everybody gets a fine, you feed the law enforcement. You feed the people that we’re going up against and there’s a lot of different ways to combat these people without feeding the police. We don’t want to feed the police.”
The “lock-downs” in West Texas that Gutierrez referred to contributed to 19 total arrests over several months of protests of the Trans-Pecos pipeline, including two arrests of pipeline protest camp owner and local Sierra Club leader Lori Glover for engaging in such “lock-downs.” For her actions, Glover was praised by Texas Sierra Club Director Reggie James as a “super hero” and was recognized with the Texas Sierra Club’s Chapter Conservation Award following her criminal actions.
More recently, Glover has been protesting proposed legislation that would increase the penalty for those who similarly endanger themselves and workers on critical infrastructure sites by trespassing and locking themselves to equipment in Texas, calling fines and jail time for such offenses cruel and unusual punishment.
Glover’s husband and fellow pipeline protest camp owner, Mark Glover, was similarly arrested for locking himself to pipeline construction equipment recently complained how the costs of their criminal actions in protest of oil and gas infrastructure has prevented him from being able to afford gas for his four cars:
“Felonies are expensive. The local lawyers are not into pro bono. We’ve been fighting this thing two and a half years and some of the locals are a little worn out. So we get what’s called a ‘low bono’ and that’s about ten grand in legal fees per felony, and we got – I believe we’ve got five or six already in Presidio County. We’ve got four kids and the youngest one is 8. I have four cars and the average age is 23 years old, none of them have gas in their tanks right now.”