Texas Sierra Club’s Dave Cortez is calling on fellow environmentalists to harass private citizens with opposing views. Following the passage of a bill in the Texas legislature that would increase the penalties for those who damage or obstruct critical infrastructure sites, including pipelines, Cortez called on his followers to harass members of organizations that supported the bill “on the streets, while out to eat, their churches and social spaces”:
“HB 3557 passed both house of Texas Legislature tonight and goes onto Gov Abbott to sign. Means felony charges for blocking roadway or chaining self to fence of a fossil fuel, agriculture, or several other ‘critical infrastructure’ sights.
“Texas joins a bunch of other states who’ve passed these ALEC bills. Big props and THANK YOU to all the movement family who worked relentlessly to stop this garbage.”
“Now for us its a chance for bold, escalated, more creative means, strategies and tactics:
– organize! Build out the base and hold space to stengthen relationships between all affected by this: indigenous peoples, landowners fighting eminent domain, city activists, students and youth
– Target the Texas Oil & Gas Asscociation, Texas Chemical Council, and other dozens of other industry associations who move this crap
– Birddog their staff & board members on the streets, while out to eat, their churches and social spaces
– Organize actions that don’t occur on the company property
– Learn about the power of the Craddick family and oust Christi Craddick from the Texas Railroad Commission
– Map & hold accountable any Democrat who voted against our first amendment rights, and id people in their districts to lead that pushback
– support the lawsuit in Louisiana!”
“This sucks, but I’ve got so much faith in our ability to grow stronger and more creative in the face of these bs industry ‘laws’”
“Birddogging” is a tactic used by extremists in recent years towards elected officials in which a group of activists will crowd and harass the official in a public space such as a restaurant or sidewalk. Cortez’s call asks fellow environmentalists to go even further with the already-radical tactic and harass private citizens who merely supported a bill that the Sierra Club opposed, including specifically targeting their places of worship.
Cortez has previously supported punching and spitting on opponents as acceptable forms of protest. In 2017, Cortez admitted to being a member of Antifa, a group under investigation for domestic terrorism since early 2016.
Cortez’s push for “birddogging” is just the latest shift in Sierra Club’s radical tactics that have come under fire. Even fellow environmental leaders in Texas have criticized recent tactics promoted by the group.