Folklore has it that if you stand in front of a mirror and say “Bloody Mary” three times, a malevolent spirit will appear in the reflection there to do you harm. It’s one of those rituals kids often do to test their own mettle in a world full of scary things out to get you.
During “Occupy,” particularly and perniciously on forums and listservs devoted to OccupyLA, the internet’s own version of “Bloody Mary” appeared – reflecting the malevolently ineffectual liberalism and craven opportunism so common in activist milieus. Her name, and this should not be repeated three times (if ever), was “Sue Basko.”
After our comrades in OccupyLA raised concerns about paying Basko a significant fee to “trademark” “OccupyLA,” Basko devoted a lot of time and effort to slandering us (and people unrelated to us who she thought might be), but we don’t really care much about slander because we rarely (if ever) seek redress in the courts for the injury done to us. Her efforts, however, eventually made their way into the larger media discourse about our politics – and inspired Tina Dupuy, Kevin Zeese & Margaret Flowers (as well as Chris Hedges) – to baselessly accuse us of “infiltration” on a much broader scale. Some of them even accused us of being FBI agents while producing no evidence whatsoever to substantiate their claims. This culture of snitch-jacketing was just as pernicious as any other phenomenon that debilitated many post-encampment “occupations” around the country.
They say if you haven’t been snitch-jacketed in the US left, you aren’t trying. We try. And we’ve been snitch-jacketed so often, we own enough jackets to start our own chapter of the Pink Ladies. We have avoided “Sue Basko” for over a year now because we learned all we needed to know about her in 2012. Or so we thought.
The other day an email arrived in our inbox with the following image, from a
publicly-requestable FBI document “unclassified and unprotected report”:
We trust the source. We can’t 100% verify that this is, indeed, an image from
an actual FBI file any official report that now references us and determines that Basko “reported” us to Federal authorities for specious reasons of her own conjuring, but we at OLAASM will NOT be conjuring the name “Sue Basko” ever again and hope our comrades consider this in their organizing efforts as well.