(ed. This was originally published on March 30, 2012 – here – under the ill-considered title, “Billy: Tool or Provocateur.” In reformulating our archives, we’d like to observe our own participation in perpetuating the specter of infiltration; having had the suggestion levied at us numerous times, we take it far more seriously than this piece reveals. We’re sorry. Our editors should’ve been more thorough, our egos should’ve been less insipid and petty, and our words shouldn’t have been weaponized so readily in the service of the ghosts of COINTELPRO that are so often levied against us. Further, this piece drips with sanctimony – and worse – effuses entitlements we do not still (if we ever did, collectively) support. Unabashed able-ism alone teems from its first paragraph. Ew.
We were right – and still believe – “Billy” presented himself as an adventurist whose ill-conceived, parachute activism would bring our fragile disorganization and the SCF community nothing but harm. However, we now make no claims as to his motivations. Sorry, Internet. We fucked up. We’re learning and unlearning, too. We present it here, free of Billy’s surname and in the spirit of honest growth and development. Call us revisionist. Call us Stalinists. But hey, call us? – OLAASM, December 31, 2013)
General Assemblies are famously plagued by losers. Let’s be honest – every great GA has, in equal amounts, been accompanied by a GA which descended into a shitfest because of someone with an obvious
mental problem or personality disorder. From Juan (“You are all fucking idiots!” AKA “the Juan Percent”) to Donald (“This is fascism! Facilitation is run by Fascists!” as he plows a small Latina girl over in his wheelchair) Occupy LA has been no different. Despite running an impressive GA – OLA is one of the few assemblies in Occupy which runs on a 100% pure-consensus model, with a beautifully orchestrated and clear website which effortlessly debunks the Liberal myth that anarchists hate organization – OLA GA has yet to come up with an effective way to deal with provocateurs.
Had OLA been run by Communists or Panthers, doubtless Juan, Donald and their ilk would have been swiftly disposed of with a bullet in the head, or their penis rammed down their throat. Unfortunately, radical inclusion, coupled with bleeding-heart liberals, means little more than a kerfuffle of
dis-ease every time idiots descend on the GA with the intent to garner an audience with a tantrum, a meltdown, and a stream of abuse.
But when does simply being an obnoxious moron become something more insidious? Paranoia abounds in the Occupy movement, from the Phantom Occupier Sue Basko’s (chemically-induced?) rants about Psy-Ops, to Occupy Oakland’s (now disbanded) Media Team’s dangerous episode of snitch-jacketing. What we’re about to say then, is that our most recent provocateur – Billy XXXX – is probably just an obnoxious moron, like Donald, and like Juan. But unlike Donald and Juan, his attempts to incite OLA into foolish actions have larger consequences than simply disrupting a GA.
The first time we saw Billy XXXX was when he came to GA to make a proposal to Re-Occupy South Central Farms. His reasons for doing so? He had the support of LAPD and Jan Perry. Yep – that’s right. Billy XXXX stood in front of Occupy LA and told them he had the support of LAPD and Jan Perry. Not only that – Billy didn’t have the support of the South Central Farmers themselves. In fact, they couldn’t stand the guy, and sent along this letter to GA, which a member of the assembly read out to Billy:
As a once elected representative of the South Central Farmers, I don’t believe that I can support the occupation of the South Central Farm, once located at 41st and Alameda, the way that Mr. Billy XXXX has been proposing in his proposal to the General Assembly (GA).
We have had several encounters with Mr. Billy XXXX. Our first occasion was when Mr. XXXX showed up to one our weekly meetings in our community without being invited. He came and laid his vision for the SCF and we had to asked him to leave because he was not considerate of the historical reality of the those who had been in struggle for many years. The next day he published a very derogatory document accusing many of the women in our group as having been discriminatory towards him. Many in our group and the community were shocked to have someone from the outside tell us what we should do with SCF.
While Mr. XXXX is entitled to his belief about what is good for SCF we must not overlook the violence that the community of SCF has experienced. Not only has this land once been sited for a energy generating incinerator in the 1980s. Not only has this land been sited for warehouses for the port. This land continues under treat for development for sweatshops.
We believe that if Occupy LA is interested in the community around SCF that much outreach needs to be done; including several listening general assemblies. Where OLA can understand the issues in this community, what the farm represented for this community, and why it is so desperately needed. The people around SCF are continuously under the structural violence not only materially, symbolic, and culturally.
While the community has and continues to struggle for the restoration of 41st and Alameda it must be done with the consent of the community around that area and we have not seen that happen.
Given the whole assembly tabled the proposal, you might have thought that would have been enough to stop Billy XXXX, who videotaped everyone at that GA who hardblocked him. But no! The dude came back to GA with exactly the same proposal less than a week later, and defended his decision by saying the Farmer who wrote the above letter was biased and racist, and Billy knew what was best for the community – even if they did not.
Unsurprisingly, the proposal was tabled again and the assembly made its feelings about the return of this BS very clear.
Let’s look at the consequences of Re-Occupying South Central Farms. Given the once-public land is now privately owned, anyone setting foot on that plot will last maybe 15 minutes before LAPD swoop down and beat the crap out of them. Maybe a public display at 41st and Alameda would bring public awareness back to this once-widely known campaign – but only if supported by the Farmers and the local community. Fifty lone Occupiers with cardboard signs bringing police presence into a predominantly Latino low-income area who frequently suffer from racist policing and do not support the Occupiers, would do nothing but say: Hello. We’re Occupy White Privilege. We don’t give a fuck about you and your community. The fact you lost that battle against City Council to get back the land Jan Perry illegally sold to Ralph Horowitz, despite overwhelming local and celebrity support and awareness, is because you’re not Occupy. We’re going to take that land back for fifteen minutes, get everyone in jail on felony charges, bring massive police presence to the neighborhood, and look like White Savior Kony-ass dipshits who don’t have a clue about organizing in the local community. Oh wait! People think we’re that already! (ed. this paragraph is timeless, though!)
I leave it to you, oh OLAASM comrades. Billy XXXX: total fucking idiot, or tool of Jan Perry? Either/Or? Does it fucking matter? No.