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By Andy Bichlbaum on Oct 4 2017 - 5:29pm Tagged: Project: RefuGreenErgy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2017

Bicycle Hoax Highlights Soulless Cycle
Belgian collective, in cahoots with refugee groups and the Yes Lab, hits hard at European policy towards refugees, false market solutions, assholes

Reveal video here (with English subtitles)
Photos and posters here
Hoax website, promotional video, Facebook, Twitter
Contact: Hélène Collin or Alexandre Dewez, contact@refugreenergy.org

Hundreds of spectators witnessed a bizarre spectacle Saturday, when a slick new tech startup called RefuGreenErgy held a three-hour launch event in central Brussels. The event featured four "RefuGreens" (actual refugees) happily pedaling battery-filling bikes while "company representatives" (actually activists) described to tourists and others how the refugees were producing "green" electricity they could buy; the refugees, in exchange, would get 24-hour periods of amnesty and 1.60 euros per day. "It's a guilt-free way to help others," explained one representative.

Reactions ranged from quiet approval to horror. The hoax was finally exposed when, after two "company officials" explained the concept to an assembled crowd, a member of the public, a man who works with refugees, spoke up emotionally against the concept, and the "officials" admitted it was a hoax. (See footage here.) At that point, Saïd Elouizi, a member of Brussels collective Voix des Sans-Papiers (Voice of the Undocumented), spoke of the importance of taking action as citizens: "We need to react to every speech and act, and not remain passive consumers.... Solidarity is our power."

The hoax, by WAAR (We Are All Refugees, a group of "artivists" from Belgium and abroad, working in cahoots with refugee groups and the Yes Men) was carried out in the capital city of Europe in part because refugees are constantly threatened, deported, and locked up by many European states, including Belgium. One Belgian politician, Theo Francken, has even brought agents from Sudan—whose president is under an international arrest warrant—to identify Sudanese refugees so that they can be deported back to the danger they fled.

The hoax was designed to call attention to the moral responsibility of countries like Belgium for the so-called "refugee crisis." 

“There are increasing numbers of climate refugees—perhaps 250 million by 2050," said WAAR member Zelda, referring to a United Nations report. "Climate change is caused by the industrial countries, and they bear responsibility for it."

"If we want to look at deeper causes of the wars and violence that force refugees to flee, it's not a big stretch to see our colonial history as a root cause," said WAAR member Hélène.

Another WAAR member noted that European colonial history continues as companies cause large-scale conflicts that force citizens to flee, as in the case of Areva in Mali.

"Our objective was to highlight the logic by which capitalism deals with and takes advantage of crises—even those that it's caused," the activist explained. "Faced with the ecological crisis of climate change, many companies respond with solutions that serve the objective of profit, without having any concrete effect on the problem itself. A horrible idea like RefuGreenErgy is sadly plausible, thanks to the 'Uberization' of society, ‘greenwashing,’ and the utopian view that the unregulated market can fix the world."

The hoax has so far received coverage in several Belgian media outlets. WAAR also launched a website, a promotional video, and Facebook and Twitter accounts. The hoax was developed during a week-long workshop with The Yes Lab at La Fabrique de Théâtre as part of the Brussels SIGNAL festival, and was carried out with the participation of refugee-activists from several organizations.

WAAR requests that you:

  • Support collectives and organizations that help the undocumented in their quest for work and legal status.
  • Support airplane passengers who oppose the deportation of refugees by air, who are now being prosecuted by the Belgian justice system.
  • If you are in Belgium, welcome a refugee from Maximilian Park (Brussels) into your home to allow him/her to rest, and to protect him/her from police raids.
  • Visit asylum seekers in Belgian refugee centers.

Media contacts: contact@refugreenergy.org
Hélène Collin, +32 474 99 31 33
Alexandre Dewez, +32 498 33 88 62

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Sep 22 2017 - 4:48pm Tagged:

Pioneer Works, Creative Time, and the Yes Men announce
WTF Do We Do Now?

A nine-hour open forum on some of today's most urgent political topics, with special guest speakers, to be held at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn
Sunday, October 15, 2017 |  10AM – 7PM | Free with registration


Brokers and police march for Occupy (NOT). Courtesy of the Yes Men

(New York, September 22, 2017) — Pioneer Works, Creative Time, and the Yes Men are proud to announce WTF Do We Do Now?, a one-day gathering with open forums, town hall meetings, and small-group dialogues. Guest speakers will include Frances Fox Piven, Avram Finkelstein, and Molly Crabapple; others will be confirmed shortly.

Back in 2007, after seven long years of Bush, RNC protests, the Patriot Act, and the so-called "War on Terror," a few hundred activists and artists gathered to ask: What Do We Do Now?

Ten years later, we pose a similar but even more urgent question. WTF Do We Do Now? will be a moment for activists and other politically-inclined creative people to reflect on a year of incredibly bad politics, and to gather energy, develop clarity, and make plans for the long fight ahead. We'll come out of the day with calls for action that make real sense in today's political landscape—one that's volatile and dangerous, but also full of unexpected opportunities for progressive change.

We welcome you to bring (or seek) clarity and strategy on the issues you care about, as well as new ways to take care of yourself and your friends. Admission is free with registration.

SPEAKERS AND SPECIAL GUESTS (more to be confirmed shortly)
Frances Fox Piven, Avram Finkelstein (Gran Fury), and Molly Crabapple. Participants will include Occupy Museums, BFAMFAPhD (Caroline Woolard, Emilio Martinez Poppe, Susan Jahoda, Vicky Virgin, Agnes Szanyi), the School of Apocalypse, and many more. Guest facilitation for the day by Andrew Freiband and the Artist Working Group. 

EVENT DETAILS 
WTF Do We Do Now?
Sunday, October 15, 2017
10am - 7pm
Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street
Admission is free with registration, here.

ABOUT PIONEER WORKS
Pioneer Works is a cultural center dedicated to experimentation, education and production across disciplines. Through a broad range of educational programs, performances, residencies and exhibitions, Pioneer Works transcends disciplinary boundaries to foster a community where alternative modes of thought are activated and supported. We strive to make culture accessible to all.

ABOUT CREATIVE TIME
Creative Time, the New York based public arts non-profit, is committed to working with artists on the dialogues, debates, and dreams of our time. Creative Time presents the most innovative art in the public realm, providing new platforms to amplify artists’ voices, including the Creative Time Summit, an international conference convening at the intersection of art and social justice.

Since 1974, Creative Time has produced over 350 groundbreaking public art projects that ignite the imagination, explore ideas that shape society, and engage millions of people around the globe. Since its inception, the non-profit organization has been at the forefront of socially engaged public art, seeking to convert the power of artists’ ideas into works that inspire and challenge the public. Creative Time projects stimulate dialogue on timely issues, and initiate a dynamic experience between artists, sites, and audiences.

ABOUT THE YES MEN
The Yes Men are "laughtivists" who try to raise the media profile of critical social and political struggles and to cheer on those doing the really hard work. They do not consider themselves artists, but rather people with a certain amount of creative talent who are repulsed by the way things are and want to change that. They're based in New York and have produced "site-specific" actions for many of the last decade's struggles here. 

PRESS CONTACTS
For Creative Time:

Marcella Zimmermann 
marcella@culturalcounsel.com

For Pioneer Works:
Becky Elmquist
becky@pioneerworks.org 

For the Yes Men:
Andy Bichlbaum
people@theyesmen.org

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Jul 31 2017 - 7:39pm Tagged: Project: DNC Takeback

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUST 1, 2017

 

ACTIVISTS CALL DNC'S BLUFF WITH #DNCTAKEBACK

Fake news precursors the Yes Men, working with grassroots activists, create illusion that election-winning populist issues are part of DNC's "Better Deal" - because they should be.

Highlights video, announcement text at www.yeslab.org/DNCTakeBack

 

One week after Democrats in Congress announced “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future”—a new "populist" economic agenda that has been criticized as grossly insufficient—a "DNC representative" held a live-tweeted press conference in Pasadena before an audience of 100 to clarify some of the plan's "lesser-known populist features": Medicare for all (desired by a strong majority of voters overall, according to a number of polls, and even by 41% of Republicans), free college tuition (desired by 62% of all voters), stronger unions (by an ever growing majority), and public campaign financing and the elimination of corporate lobbying (large majorities of Americans feel corporations, the wealthy, and lobbyists have far too much influence in politics).

 

The bipartisan audience asked questions for 50 minutes. "Never once did anyone express doubt that these were the actual new positions of the Democratic Party—because why shouldn't they be?" said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men, who posed as the DNC rep for the event. All the positions Bichlbaum described have been shown by polls to have widespread support across the political spectrum, and candidates espousing them have been winning in state and local elections nationwide, even in heavily Trump-leaning areas.

 

"But the Democrats have a donor problem that they need to get over before they can adopt these positions and thus win elections reliably as they once did," added Katherine Brezler, National Digital Director and Co-Founder of PeopleForBernie.com, who collaborated with the Yes Men on the project.

 

Although videos of the event had garnered hundreds of thousands of views on Facebook and Twitter, and although the #DNCTakeBack discussion remained vibrant on Twitter, there was no reaction at all from the DNC by Monday morning. Therefore, the Yes Men decided to send out an "official" DNC press release with more details on the "Better Deal's" supposed positions.

 

"We feel bad for the thousands of people who've believed that the DNC was taking the Democrats in an election-winning direction," said Jennifer Prediger, the journalist who moderated Saturday's session. "But the illusion that this was real was a shallow one: it actually could be. The Democrats were once the party of the people, and they can be again, but only if people exert enough pressure."

 

"We hope that the DNC will do this, but we know the grassroots already are," said Brezler.

 

"If the DNC by any chance doesn't do the right thing then we need to redefine #DNCTakeBack," said Prediger. "We the people need to 'take back' the Democratic party, so that we all stand a chance against fascism in the US."

 

This is the first hoax by the Yes Men that delves into electoral politics, as well as the first one that targets those on the same side of the political divide. "We can blame the Trump win on all sorts of things, including the Russians and racism and so on," said Bichlbaum, "but the Democrats definitely failed to offer disaffected voters any alternative. Instead of fighting for the working people as they used to, they’ve championed the neoliberal policies that left so many of those people in the dust. The chickens have come home to roost."

 

This was also the first-ever fully livestreamed Yes Men event that can be viewed in its entirety. The event lasted one hour, with 50 minutes of questions asked by the public—including at least one Republican. "Strangely, there was no notable tension at any point, with any of the questioners, except when I admitted I knew very little about SB562, the California health care bill," said Bichlbaum. "That was quite stupid of me."

 

"Everything in this was very heartfelt," said Bichlbaum. "It was a fiction, but like many people, we deeply want the DNC to actually adopt these positions. Many people see the writing on the wall, and there are many different ways of spreading the message."

 

Read the text of the announcement here, and view video and photos here. And contribute to the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #DNCTakeBack.

 

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By Andy Bichlbaum on May 3 2017 - 12:49pm Tagged:

Peng Collective hoaxes the world to stop global arms trade

 

[Note: This press release was authored by Peng. Fake CDU site here. See this article, in German, for coverage, the fake CDU web page, screenshots of Fox and other outlets that were fooled by the hoax, etc.]

 

Yesterday the Berlin based Peng! collective together with Theater Dortmund has created a hoax: a campaign of Merkels CDU party, that addresses the party's position on gun export laws and its contradiction to the christian values that the CDU stands for. The fake politician in the video called out the chancellor to work towards ending exports of guns.

 

In practice, Germany is among the five most active weapon exporting countries and thus shares responsibility in fueling conflicts over the world.

 

The hoax was picked up by media worldwide including New York Times, Fox News, Daily Mail and, most importantly, Radio Vatican. The collective revealed the hoax on the same day and made a stand against rising small arms exports in Germany.

 

The hoax sparked an intense debate about the difference between fake news and satire in the German media. "Fake news usually aims to confuse and manipulate the audience, while our work aims to educate the audience and stimulate a critical debate pointing out the social injustice and the double standards of politics." Jessica Gräber from Peng! says, "Revealing the fake, enhancing reflection and taking position on the topic is a crucial part of our work. Furthermore, Fake News are usually spread in order to maintain and increase political power, whereas satire and hacked news aim to question and criticize the dominating power relationships."

 

For more information on Peng collective visit www.pen.gg and to find out more about recent campaigns visit

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/09/30/these-germanartists-

tried-to-convince-nsa-employees-to-quit/

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/11535405/How-do-you-stop-

Twitter-trolls-Unleash-a-robot-swarm-to-troll-them-back.html

 

https://www.fastcompany.com/3030418/how-activists-fooled-the-internet-with-theseconvincing-

new-google-nest-products

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/14/shell-berlin-science-slamvideo_

n_4440676.html

 

Jessica Gräber

+491773237192

presse@pen.gg

 

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By keil on Apr 25 2016 - 5:37pm Tagged: Project: UN Ends the War on Drugs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

UN Not Recognizing 4/20, Not Ending Drug Violence, Not Standing Up To Drug-Addled National Bullies, and Not Urging Stoners To Grow Pot At Home

 

Hoax highlights UN paralysis on drug policy at April 19-21 UNGASS

 

Last week, during the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem—whose dates strangely centered on April 20, or 4/20—the Los Angeles Times quoted a press release announcing an ambitious new UN plan to decriminalize drugs and make them a health care rather than criminal justice issue.

This was welcome news for most of the world’s countries, who support making such a shift, but sadly the press release and associated Twitter account were a hoax, as discovered by journalist Tom Angell from Marijuana.com.

Shortly after Angell's revelation, a supposed UN denunciation of the hoax explained that “deadbeat states” like the USA, Russia, and China had prevented the UN from meeting the needs of poorer states like Mexico and Colombia who continue to be ravaged by the drug war. That release, also a hoax, quoted a UN spokesperson suggesting that citizens of the USA, Russia, and China should grow their own as the only way to wash their hands of bloody drug violence. (See coverage in The Guardian and CNN.)

 

Both press releases were in fact home-grown by Potanist, an online community for cannabis enthusiasts, who teamed up with notorious tricksters the Yes Men to get their message out.

“In the US, cannabis prohibition disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color and those on the fringes,” said Potanist’s Matt Heffler. “In Latin America, it provides drug cartels with practically infinite funding. Everyone suffers—except the US private prison industry and the cartels."

"The UN could really make a difference here, and it's very sad that they've caved in to bullying," Heffler added. Countries like Mexico and Colombia, crippled by rampant violence over drugs bound for the USA and Europe, have been demanding an end to the failed war on drugs for years, and many had hoped that this UNGASS would be a step to that change.

“In the US we tend to think of medical access to drugs as the main reason to legalize cannabis," said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men. "But ending the cycle of violence fuelled by the drug war is orders of magnitude more important. Unless there's policy change, US citizens can't buy drugs without fearing their purchase is contributing to somebody's death. That can really harsh your buzz."

“Working with Potanist on this opened my eyes,” said Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men. “If you hate the violence but still want the drugs, you have to work on legalizing it. And until you succeed, you should at a minimum consider growing your own weed. It’s like giving up factory-farmed meat if you care about climate change. Sadly, without systemic change these half-baked answers are the only ethical options we’ve got.”

 

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Jan 12 2016 - 8:19am Tagged: Project: Total terrorism solution at European Parliament

January 12, 2016

"TOTAL TERRORISM SOLUTION" STUNS EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Hoax highlights failures of military, security approaches to terrorism

Photos, video, and talk text: www.yeslab.org/parliament
Contact: info@theyesmen.org

Today in the European Parliament in Brussels, a "defense and security consultant" (actually Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men, working together with Greek MEP Stelios Kouloglou) presented an industrial solution to terrorism" which—unlike all other military and security solutions—is guaranteed to actually work

During the presentation, Bichlbaum described the failures of military action, drone operations, assassinations, surveillance, and policing to reduce terrorism in any way—before presenting the "solution": a fully-defended orb called the "ENDURAsphere," that gives well-heeled citizens the ability to outlast any terrorist attack. The audience, which included media, members of the public, and several MEPs, asked over 10 minutes' worth of questions.

"This hoax was about highlighting that there really is no solution to terrorism within the defense and security paradigm," said Bichlbaum. "Military 'solutions' backfire badly."

Bichlbaum wore a colonial-era moustache. "Any 'solution' to terrorism that doesn't take colonial history into account is bound to fail completely," said Bichlbaum. "From the parcelling of the Middle East after WWI to the invasion of Iraq by the US, there are reasons things are as they are." 

Speaking to press after the event, MEP Kouloglou highlighted some actual solutions to terrorism. "Bombing is a recruiting tool for ISIS," he said. "If we want to undermine terrorists, we need to end the war in Syria, welcome Middle Eastern refugees, and marginalize extremists by establishing better relationships with moderate forces in Islam. We also need to better integrate the youth of our most disadvantaged communities."

Today's hoax, part of a Charlie Hebdo commemoration organized by Kouloglou together with MEP Martin Sonneborn, represents the first action of its sort to take place within the European Parliament. It's also the first time the Yes Men have collaborated with any national representatives to develop an action.

Video and high-resolution photos are available on request.

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By badger on Dec 29 2015 - 10:17am Tagged:

Greetings, friends and spies!

We can’t afford to send you all fruitcakes. But we do have a small gift – a few fun tales from this past year. At the end of this post, we’ll also let you in on a few little secrets about the next one.

And oh, by the way--all of our work depends on donations from people like you. If anything in here tickles your fancy, please consider sending an end-of-year gift to us at the Yes Lab.

Ok, here we go:

In 2015 we...

… released a new movie! 
The critics loved our third feature film, The Yes Men Are Revolting. Looking ahead to 2016, we still have a DVD to release and we’re hoping it gets widely televised around the world.  Unlike our last two films, we don’t already have deals in France or the UK, so please do tell if you have any ideas. Note to aspiring filmmakers: fooling the BBC in a prior film could make it hard to ever get on the telly again in that territory! Luckily, we’re troublemakers, not filmmakers, and it is pretty hard to get blacklisted from mischief. 

… got into trouble releasing a new movie!
A bunch of odd shenanigans transpired while we toured with the film. Like when we were ejected from the lavish “Cinema for Peace” gala in Berlin – for bringing a polar bear and hijacking the microphone (video here).  Or when when we found ourselves in New York, dressed as Shell representatives, offering residents their first taste of the last frontier: snow cones made from the Arctic’s last icebergs (video here). 

… single-handedly defeated Shell’s diabolical plans to drill the Arctic! 
Okay, maybe it wasn’t just us, but after sustained actions from thousands of activists and organizations like Greenpeace, Shell withdrew from the Arctic. It may not have been our victory alone, but they did send out their withdrawal announcement just when Andy was returning from a secret project to foil them in Greenland. Coincidence? 

… pardoned Ed Snowden! 
When we were asked to interview the exiled Edward Snowden at Politicon in Los Angeles, we decided to take it a step further, and have him make a live appearance. The crowd went nuts when they thought Snowden was there – giving us a chance to see the joy many Americans will feel when Obama really does pardon him (it’s up to you to help make that happen!). We had a great time working with Snowden, and we expect more to come.  

… haunted the US Army!
On All Hallow's Eve, we dressed as spooky ghosts and invaded downtown Frederick, MD to spread the truly terrifying story about how the U.S. military disposed of chemical and biological weapons in a bunch of local neighborhoods, causing a slew of rare cancers. A video about the action is slated to be on a new MSNBC program this winter – and we expect to be back there with more ghosts next year… and every year thereafter until the military admits what happened, compensates victims, and cleans up their act. 

… skipped showers for beef! 
Our wackiest project to date was about a very serious way to address the California drought by changing the way we do agriculture. When we discovered that factory-farmed beef uses up an astonishing 1800 gallons of water per pound—half of California's annual water use—we knew we needed a radical solution. Working with the brilliant, twisted folks at Funny or Die, we came up with a “beef industry campaign” encouraging people to offset each quarter-pound hamburger by skipping 55 showers. Very few folks ever realized it was a fake; it's come to that. (video here)

… eulogized the World Economic Forum! 
When we were asked to participate in the last ever “public eye on Davos” WEF counter-summit, we conducted a funeral for that pompous body. And the WEF really is dead, at least intellectually – the world’s problems are not going to be solved by bringing the world’s richest people (plus Bono) into a fortified ski resort high in the Alps. The WEF may well meet again this year—but that'll just be reanimating the corpse.

… trained new recruits and gave motivational speeches! 
This past year we also launched a new distance-learning workshop for creative activism to incubate new projects. The first class cooked up several interesting capers, all of which are still underway. We also did workshops and presentations at 51 conferences, schools, and social centers around the world! We’re confident that these events spark more mischief after we leave… and sometimes we get put up to something on the spot, like the impromptu speech we gave as Shell at Seattle’s Earth Day celebrations, or the time we found ourselves suddenly representing consultants for the Regents of the University of Iowa. One more highlight from this year’s trainings: our residency at Bogazici University in Istanbul. 

 

In 2016 we will…

… kick more butt!
We have a very busy year ahead. We are still releasing the new film, and plan to be on the road quite a bit with that. We may do a television show—more on that later. We might also dig a bunch of really funny stuff out of the archive and release it, if we can dig up a bit of money for an editor. We have a few crazy secret projects in the works. But if we tell you about them, they won’t be secret, right? 

...stop eating meat! 
Yes, We’re doing that too. We realized that some young people look up to us (ha ha!) so it’s time to be role models. And also in the meat department, we have this awesome thing called the Action Switchboard, our perverted Zuckerbergian attempt at getting billions of the world’s denizens involved in direct action mischief in the name of social causes. But so far there are barriers that have prevented billions from populating it with awesome ideas…  so we’re retooling for the new year by incorporating it into our distance-learning program and workshops. 

...get arrested! 
One big part of what we do now that we’ve got a bit of notoriety is get out there and inspire the youth (and sometimes the elderly) with speeches and workshops. We’re more available than ever for this kind of thing, especially since Andy’s faculty appointment (and thus paychecks) from NYU ended last summer. If you have ideas on who we should talk to and where we should speak (and on where Andy might get a new job), please give us a holler. Oh, and about those arrests—for one thing, we’re planning to join some indigenous activists in Minnesota who are planning some things along proposed routes of some post-Keystone pipelines. We've also joined with thousands to take a pledge of resistance for democracy next April, and you should too! So expect some news of direct action in the coming year—and we hope you can join us for the fun.

Thanks again for your support. We hope that we can do even more together in 2016!  With your help, we most certainly can!

Much love, 

Mike and Andy 
The Yes Men 

 

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By badger on Dec 8 2015 - 10:18am Tagged:

 

As world leaders and civil society converge on Paris for the UNFCCC COP21, a group of award winning international filmmakers have come together to share urgent, funny, engaging and provocative stories that you could use in your community to kick off conversations about climate and social justice. Our desire to connect, to find ways to work together to reimagine a sustainable future is even more urgent after the tragic attack in Paris. Feel free to pass on this list far and wide.

The Yes Men Are Revolting

For the last 20 years, notorious activists The Yes Men have staged outrageous and hilarious hoaxes to draw international attention to corporate crimes against humanity and the environment. In their third cinematic outing The Yes Men Are Revolting  (after The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix the World), they are now well into their 40s, and their mid-life crises are threatening to drive them out of activism forever – even as they prepare to take on the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced: climate change. Revealing the real people behind the ruses, at its heart lies a hopeful message about fighting for change. Watch the film now on itunes and Vimeo On Demand

This Changes Everything

Celebrating solutions and resistance from frontline communities around the world and asking “What if global warming isn’t only a crisis? What if it’s the best chance we’re ever going to get to build a better world?” the release of This Changes Everything was timed to to assist grassroots groups with their organising ahead of - and beyond - the Paris COP21. The documentary from Avi Lewis & Naomi Klein is now available worldwide for theatrical, community and home screenings. If you are in Paris during the COP21 you can join a special presentation about the The Leap Manifesto and screening with the filmmakers on December 2nd in Paris. And we encourage you to read Naomi’s od-ed ‘What’s really at stake now that marches are banned’.

Merchants of Doubt

Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Merchants of Doubt lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver- tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. Watch the film now at Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Starz, VUDU, or YouTube.

How to Change the World

In 1971, a group of friends sailed into a nuclear test zone and their protest captured the world’s imagination, inspiring the creation of the global organisation that became Greenpeace.   How To Change The World from director Jerry Rothwell is a thrilling and sometimes terrifying look at these pioneering activists and their struggles and dilemmas as an international movement grew around them.  Their experiences serve up some essential lessons for any activist. If you are in Paris during COP21 then join Sea-Shepherd founder Paul Watson and activist Emily Hunter (daughter of Greenpeace’s first president Bob Hunter) at a special screening on the 10th December.  For details of this and how to watch the film or organise a screening go to http://howtochangetheworldmovie.com/.

The Age of Stupid

Franny Armstrong’s The Age of Stupid stars Pete Postlethwaite as an old man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, watching “archive" footage from the early 2000s and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? Stupid was released in cinemas and on TV worldwide in 2009, won lots of awards, got tonnes of press coverage (everything from the front cover of New York Times to a full-on fashion shoot in Vogue) and also inspired the formation of the 10:10 climate campaign in 41 countries. Watch the film on the Spanner Films website or buy a license to hold your own screening from Indie Screenings.

Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. James Balog, an acclaimed environmental  photographer, conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.The film is available to view on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes.

From the fracking frontlines there are two brilliant, urgent films to watch:

Unearthed

Unearthed from South Africa Investigates fracking from an international perspective and what this method of gas extraction could mean for the rural Karoo region of South Africa. Unearthed makes an urgent call for active citizenship, community-driven development plans and a responsible, renewable energy future. Visit the film website to find out more about how to screen the movie.

Frackman

Frackman shot in Australia, tells the story of accidental activist Dayne Pratzky and his struggle against international gas companies. Australia will soon become the world’s biggest gas exporters, as more than 30,000 wells are sunk in the state of Queensland where Dayne lives with many requiring controversial ‘fracking’. He and his neighbours have unwittingly become the centre of a massive industrial landscape and they have little power to fight the wishes of the $200 billion industry. Dayne embarks on a journey that transforms him from conservative pig-shooter to sophisticated global activist as the Frackman. On digital release in Australia from Dec 9th at Frackmanthemovie.

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Oct 29 2015 - 12:09am Tagged:

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