Tag Archives | Yes Men

Coincidence Control Network: Episode 65

ccn66 Apologies for the lateness of this show, I (The Ken) have been ill. This week: The Big Dog is off the chain, yeah that's right, Ken's hosting again. That's really all you need to know....no?...ok, this week we discuss The latest activistprank from the Yes Men, New moons and hipsters, Hack your face!, Kim's analogue dream tape, Stuff, The weirdness of Mandella's interpreter, Brazilian football is Smash TV, Nintendo gayness, and Florida's cache of medieval weapons. PersonnelKim Monaghan, Frater Isla, and Ken Eakins
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Followed and Surveilled by Global Intelligence Company Stratfor

Luke Rudkowski got a chance to speak with Andy Bichlbaum, 1/2 of the Yes Men, at a press conference for hacktivist Jeremy Hammond. Andy is an artist, activist, film maker, and the co-creator of the infamous Yes Men. The December 2011 hack of Stratfor revaeled that Andy was being followed and surveilled by Stratfor at the request of Dow Chemical for his work with the Yes Men to support the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster. Via WeAreChange
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WikiLeaks Revelation: Dow Payed Stratfor to Spy on the Yes Men

A “press release” from the Yes Men:

Feb. 27, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MASSIVE LEAK REVEALS CRIMINALITY, PARANOIA AMONG CORPORATE TITANS
Dow pays “strategic intelligence” firm to spy on Yes Men and grassroots activists. Takeaway: movement is on the right track!

WikiLeaks begins to publish today over five million e-mails obtained by Anonymous from “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs (see below), also include several discussions of the Yes Men and Bhopal activists. (Bhopal activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.)

Many of the Bhopal-related emails, addressed from Stratfor to Dow and Union Carbide public relations directors, reveal concern that, in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, the Bhopal issue might be expanded into an effective systemic critique of corporate rule, and speculate at length about why this hasn’t yet happened—providing a fascinating window onto what at least some corporate types fear most from activists.

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UK Activists Booted From US

aviation justiceApparently New York has all the activists "they" want for now, but that won't stop the British climate change activists from campaigning, via an assist from The Yes Men:
This Wednesday's Revolutionaries Live! lecture with UK climate campaign activists John Stewart and Dan Glass has been postponed.

A few days ago, Stewart landed in JFK Airport for a month-long US speaking tour, only to be escorted off the plane by 6 police officers; interrogated for six hours by the FBI, Secret Service, NY police, and Immigration; and put on a plane back to the UK. The other tour member, environmental activist Dan Glass, was stopped by the CIA on the UK side.

Stewart and Glass are celebrated environmentalists who have won support from direct action activists and even Conservatives in the UK Parliament for successful efforts to reduce carbon emissions and stop the expansion of Heathrow airport. For some reason, however, our own government isn't keen on them coming here.

We're going to bring them to you anyway. Join us on Thursday, November 3rd for a special Skype session with these revered (and reviled?) climate revolutionaries. The best part: no transcontinental air emissions involved!

Thursday, November 3, 7pm Department of Performance Studies 721 Broadway, 6th Floor NY, NY 10003 (photo ID required)

And now that your Wednesday is freed up, consider joining us at OccupyWallStreet! Wednesday is the biggest action yet, with the Steelworkers, Transit Workers Union, United Federation of Teachers, Working Families Party, MoveOn.org, Rebuild the Dream, and countless economic justice and community organizations taking part in a massive march to the Liberty Plaza encampment. Starts at 4:30pm at City Hall, 250 Broadway Ave

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GE’s Fake Plan To Pay Taxes Causes Massive Stock Price Drop

General ElectricOur friends the Yes Men are once again deftly mocking the shady practices of ethically-challenged business executives. Why large corporations and the mainstream media that cover them (sorry USA Today) keep falling for their ruses, I don’t know, but you gotta love it. Morgan Clendaniel reports on the activists’ latest shenanigans for Fast Company:

Today, GE appeared to put out a press release noting that it had decided to do the right thing and pay the $6.3 billion taxes that it owed for 2010. And all the thanks it got was a quick drop in its stock price. If GE’s paying the government, that’s less money for shareholders. We can’t have that.

Remember the story that GE paid no taxes last year–and in fact, got money back from the government–despite making $11 billion in revenues (though, as with all tax law, the story was maybe a little more complicated than that).

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For Hire In China: Fake White Businessmen

Jakob Boeskov's fake ID Sniper Rifle

Jakob Boeskov's fake ID Sniper Rifle

This story totally reminds me of an essay we included in Russ Kick’s classic anthology Abuse Your Illusions: The Disinformation Guide To Media Mirages And Establishment Lies, “How I Crashed A Chinese Arms Bazaar With A Rifle That Doesn’t Exist,” by Jakob S. Boeskov. For some reason, white guys in China seem to be cloaked in Yes Men-like levels of suspended belief as to their (highly unlikely) cover stories. By Mitch Moxley for the Atlantic:

Not long ago I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit.

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The Yes Lab for Creative Activism

yeslab_mainheaderOur friends Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, better known as the Yes Men, have launched The Yes Lab, a series of brainstorms and trainings to help activist groups carry out Yes-Men-style projects on their own. Check out the Yes Lab site; this is how they explain it:

Why now?

We Yes Men have been doing our thing for about 12 years. Many of our best projects have been in collaboration with activist groups—our BBC announcement on behalf of Dow Chemical came out of a collaboration with Greenpeace, for example.

Last fall, we collaborated with a coalition of groups to release a much-improved “climate edition” of Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, and to launch an assault on the U.N. by sea (“Balls Across America“). Also in collaboration with activists, we visited our nation’s capital to re-brand the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, then headed to Copenhagen to successfully embarrass Canada about its terrible climate policies.

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Yes Men Dupe Utah With Call For Gay “Final Solution”

Pranksters the Yes Men held a bogus press conference in Salt Lake City, posing as an organization called “Patriots for a Moral Utah,” and called for a “Final Solution” of the forced removal of gays and lesbians of Utah. Amazingly, the event seemed believable enough for local reporters…Utah’s ABC 4 reports:

The so-called press conference was held at the Utah State Capitol at 1:00 p.m. Monday.

The woman claimed that…Utahns should get behind the initiative that would force homosexuals to relocate to New York City, Portland or San Francisco. According to the woman, who claimed to be Nora Young, homosexuals who chose not to relocate who be forced to undergo therapy that would “rehabilitate” them from homosexuality.

UtahFinalSolution

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