- To join the class-action lawsuit against Ft. Detrick: file an "SF95" form, keep a copy, and let the Kristen Renee Foundation know that you did. Email email@example.com for more info.
- Urge your Senators to file a subpoena to unlock government data for this cancer cluster. (U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin; State Senator C. Anthony Muse)
- Visit www.kristenrenee.org for more info about the Frederick cancer cluster, and www.chej.org for more on cancer clusters in general.
- Next Halloween, print out the flier below (click for printable PDF) and join in the fun. It's only sustained action that achieves change—so let's make this bigger and bigger each year, until the Army has to fix their toxic Frederick legacy.
OBAMA PARDONS SNOWDEN; BI-PARTISAN CROWD GOES WILD
On Saturday, a capacity crowd at the Los Angeles Convention Center saw Edward Snowden make a surprise in-person public appearance, his first on U.S. soil since receiving a pardon from President Obama last week. The crowd at the bi-partisan event immediately burst into cheers, jumped to their feet, and rushed in to take Snowden's photo.
Sadly for everyone, "Snowden" was in fact a lookalike actor named David Neale, and the real Snowden—who appeared shortly after on a live video link and spoke for 45 minutes—was still in Russia, and hadn't been pardoned at all.
"The crowd's reaction demonstrates what would happen if Snowden were honored instead of punished for what he did," said Chris Paine, an L.A. filmmaker who was in attendance.
US presidents have pardoned thousands of people accused of or convicted of crimes, often because their actions were deemed to be in the public interest. "Edward Snowden's actions launched an extraordinary global debate and led to the most significant reforms in intelligence oversight in a generation," said Ben Wizner of the ACLU. "He should be thanked, not charged with espionage and locked in a cage."
During his talk, the real Snowden addressed a wide range of issues, including the surveillance state’s influence on free speech, how to stand up against eroding civil liberties, and the wide (and wild) variety of NSA programs built for warfare but now used to spy on U.S. citizens.
Video and photos: yeslab.org/fauxden-media
Contact: The Yes Men, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning in Janurary, we're inviting the entire People's Climate March network to join us for an ongoing organizing campaign on the Action Switchbaord so we can keep the pressure building. You're invited! Please join us! The Action Switchboard is a new organizing tool designed specifically to help movements continue building momentum in between the big moments. We'll be using it to stay connected as a network and keep doing actions together all year long!
- The Action Switchboard is a new tool that helps activists brainstorm ideas, build a team, and get the resources you need to pull them off. Not only that, but if you need someone with a particular skill (videographer? actor? people willing to be arrested?) - then we will help you find the right person from our database of activists who are standing by to help!
- We’ve partnered with network organizers from the People’s Climate March, who can help develop and support your actions.
- Over the next 6 months, we will be hosting ongoing conference calls and in-person brainstorms so you can come up with actions and keep your network strong and working together. We will help you stay connected and informed by sharing news from all of your actions with everyone who joins this project.
- As our new film, The Yes Men Are Revolting, is screened across the world, it will bring new climate activists into our movement. By continuing to stay active and engaged now, those newly inspired activists will discover a thriving network to help shepherd them into participating in actions. This could be great way to build our movement.
- We are also exploring ways that you can screen the film yourself, in your own communities, to get the conversation started about climate activism. You might do this as a fundraiser for your projects, or use it to start local climate action groups to plan actions in your community.
On June 18, 2014 Op de Valreep which won Alert Fund's Most Valued Project Award, was evicted by city government but not before activists put up an epic thirteen hour resistance where riot cops had to break through massive barricades and angle grind loose more than 10 people out of lockons. The neighbourhood has lost her living room, the city has lost one of her very, very few last free spaces, the politic establishment has lost all their credibility and Valreep volunteers have lost their home. But as they told the Yes Men:
WE DIDN' T LOSE OUR IDEALS!
Read the Eviction timeline here.
Despite a major campaign in the run-up to the elections, where the posters of all political parties were spoofed…
Despite putting the city slogan "I AMsterdam" in massive three dimensional letters on top of the roof…
Despite going to the city council for the hundredth time with hundreds of sympathisers, thousands of signatures, and a fullsize brassband…
Despite the massive support from the neighbourhood, in the city, throughout the country…
Despite winning the Alert fund Most Valued Project Award…
…Despite all of that, the city stubbornly decided to evict social centre Op de Valreep, the peoples initiative that was free to everyone and was run for almost three years solely by volunteers and without subsidies.
The city government has NEVER granted Valreep's SINGLE demand: Let us present our plans and consider us for renting/buying the place. We have a valid businessplan and investors backing that plan.
The Valreep will probably remain empty for a year, or more likely a few years, or as the case may be much longer, as they will presumably focus on redevelopment of the surrounding grounds. Eventually it will be renovated into yet another posh grand cafe (for the elite).
Despite the sense of loss of Valreep, its crucial to look at what worked.Valreep volunteers wrote in that they were able to survive for three years by enacting a massive campaign which incorporated feedback from The Yes Men. The kind of person to person, online to on-the-ground collaboration, support and hard core organizing that the Action Switchboard is rolling out to the wider movement very soon.
Join the Yes Men Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno for a party and fundraiser to help finish their hilarious new documentary The Yes Men Are Revolting, hosted by G.O.P. drag princess Sylvia Bismarck.
- Sneak Preview (starts at 8pm sharp!)
- Fun Games
- Hang with the Yes Men
- Exciting Raffle
- Silent Auction
WHEN: Wednesday, June 4, 7-10pm
WHERE: Splitty, 415 Myrtle Ave. | Brooklyn, NY 11205
Includes Drink and Steamed Bao
AmeriCAN or AmeriCAN'T? Contractors Dance Their Answer
Security bigwigs applaud plan for renewable energy revolution
Contractors, lobbyists and officials attending the Homeland Security Congress in Washington DC yesterday did a "traditional" Native American circle dance to celebrate a fictitious new US government plan, the "American Renewable Clean-Energy Network" (AmeriCAN), to convert the US to 100% renewable energy by 2030. (Photos here; other material here.)
The conference attendees—including a retired Navy Admiral, a retired USAF General, a former Seal Team Seven leader, an aspiring Republican Congressman, lobbyists, and many homeland security contractors—applauded frequently during the stirring announcement by the US Department of Energy's "Benedict Waterman" (actually Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men), as well as the eloquent speech by "Bana Slowhorse" of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (actually Gitz Crazyboy, a youth worker from the Athabascan Chippewyan First Nations, whose land includes the Alberta Tar Sands).
"Bana's" speech concluded: "We are all the Department of Energy." All attendees then danced a "celebratory circle dance" to the singing of "Drum Chief Four Feathers" (actually Tito Ybarra, an Ojibwe comedian and singer). After the event, two dozen contractors lined up to hand "Waterman" and "Slowhorse" their cards and offer their services in carrying out the conversion.
"Waterman's" energy plan would redirect oil company tax breaks and subsidies to support renewables instead; commit "Manhattan Project-level" Defense spending to renewables in order to prevent future climate-change-related conflicts; and partner with Native American nations whose lands could provide all of our renewable energy needs.
The plan, based on a number of sources including Stanford's Solutions Project (FAQ here), would produce nearly 8 million jobs; save $530 billion per year in health-care costs alone; result in much lower eventual fuel costs and greater price stability; and provide much greater energy security. It would also reduce the risk of the climate change effects that are projected to cost the US at least $2 trillion per year by 2100 if nothing is done to address it.
Best of all, "Waterman" said, the plan would make a survivable future more likely. He also said that the government was enacting this plan because people are increasingly upset about climate change, and that if we don't take revolutionary action today, there could be a real revolution tomorrow. The conference attendees applauded this statement too.
The action was intended to spread two messages: first, that a complete renewables conversion is indeed possible today, with our current technology; and second, that it will only happen if millions of people take action to force our leaders to truly represent us.
Besides the Yes Men, Crazyboy, and Ybarra, participants in this project included members of Idle No More, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and several other groups. The action occurred just a few days after the "Cowboys and Indians Alliance" rally against the Keystone XL pipeline.
"Waterman's" wig was made by RuPaul's wig designer for the occasion.
Free and open to the public.
Photo ID required.
Jacqueline Stevens is a professor in Political Science and Legal Studies, and directs the Deportation Research Clinic at Northwestern University. The Deportation Research Clinic investigates and publicizes government misconduct. Research by Professor Stevens has appeared in The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and been covered by national television and radio reports. Her most recent book is States Without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals.
JOIN US FOR A ONE-OF-A-KIND
CREATIVE ACTION TRAINING
FOR NYC ACTIVISTS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Do you want to dramatically amplify your impact on decision-makers, media, and the public?
Are you need of new skills, tools, and approaches that will get you fired up to create innovative campaigns?
Is it time to start thinking (and acting) outside the box?
Three of the leading creative action organizations in the country – Beautiful Trouble, The Yes Lab (brainchild of the Yes Men), and the Center for Artistic Activism – are joining forces for a special weekend of trainings for organizations, networks, and activists.
We will be conducting a 2-day intensive training February 8 & 9 at NYU and delving deep into all our creative toolboxes. Also, the Yes Lab will be unveiling our powerful new action development tool, the Action Switchboard. It’s going to be an exciting weekend where we all learn how to up our collective game. Individuals as well as organizaitons are encouraged equally to apply.
If you’d like to join us, APPLY HERE. If you can't make it, pass the word on to friends and colleagues. We are expecting more applications than there are spots in the workshop so not everyone who applies will be able to participate. We will start contacting accepted applicants on Feb. 1st.
HOW MUCH TIME?
The training is two full days: Saturday Feb 8 from 10-6 and Sunday Feb 9 from 10-5. The first day will be focused around strategy and principles, the second day applied tactics. We strongly encourage groups to attend both.
WHAT WILL WE LEARN?
STRATEGY! Trainers will lay a foundation of strategic tools and frameworks, such as…
- Mapping your Spectrum of Allies
- The 5 Points of Intervention
- How to choose both Primary and Secondary Targets
- Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis
- Collapsing the Pillars of Power
- Using Social Marketing Scale
- Life Cycle Analysis/Mapping
TACTICS! We will dig deep into the Beautiful Trouble toolbox of creative tactics, which will offer your team a full spectrum of tools for creative brainstorming….
- Action Logic
- Making the invisible visible
- The 4 Categories and 198 Methods of nonviolent action
- “Prefigurative” Interventions
- Knowing your cultural terrain
- Expressive and instrumental actions
- Putting your target in a decision dilemma
- When and how to use specific tactics like: Human Banner, Guerrilla Projections, Creative Disruption, Flash Mob, Media-Jacking, etc.
- and much much more!
THE ACTION SWITCHBOARD
You will also be among the first to be introduced the Yes Lab’s revolutionary new tool, the Action Switchboard. The Action Switchboard is a human-staffed web-platform that connects activists, organizations, and people with skills in order to create and execute creative direct actions. Anyone can propose an action, recruit participants, and solicit funding all with the help of Yes Lab trained facilitators. Organizations can even sponsor issue areas or goals around their campaigns.
In addition to all of the above, there will also be hands-on training in specific applied skillsets:
- Light brigades (with NYC Light Brigade founder Athena Soules)
- Stenciling (with protest-art veteran Nadine Bloch)
- Street Theater (with award-winning actress and director Monica Hunken)
- Meme creation (with BT and B4B founder Andrew Boyd)
- Crafting media releases for creative campaigns (with Yes Lab)
- Media hoaxes and identity correction (with Yes Lab)
WHAT DOES IT COST?
All attendees are asked to make a sliding scale contribution, based on ability to pay. Anchoring organizations are asked to contribute $1-2k for their team to attend, up to 5 people. Paid staff coming on their own are asked to contribute $250/person. At large individuals or unpaid activists
For more information, see our sliding scale cost sheet.
To discuss in more detail, contact us.
PART OF AN ORGANIZATION? BE AN ANCHOR!
Come as an anchoring organization and bring as many as 5 people from your team. We will focus on taking one of your campaigns through a full creative development process, from strategy to tactics, from innovative ideas to the brass tacks of successful action design. Our best people will be at your service. Only $1-2K. It’s an incredible value for the time, tools and skills your team will receive.
HOW WILL THIS BENEFIT US?
So glad you asked! Among many benefits, your organization will receive…
- The training to design and develop real-world actions that can be immediately deployed to serve your campaign goals.
- The ability to build innovative action ideas atop a solid strategic foundation, that focuses and maximizes their impact.
- Access to knowledge and skills already in your organization and team that have previously been unavailable.
- New, inspirational approaches to your work that revitalizes your team and get’s them fired up.
- An opportunity to form new alliances and recruit new blood.
NOTE: If you are an anchoring organization, we will prepare select tools specifically attuned to your current campaigns.
HOW DO WE APPLY?
We have only 50 spots, and they are filling up fast. If you are interested in coming, please APPLY HERE as soon as you can. Our operators are standing by.
We are expecting more applications than there are spots in the workshop. Not everyone who applies will be able to participate. We will start contacting accepted applicants on Feb. 1st.
For more information: email@example.com.
We look forward to having you in the room with us, along with some of the movement’s best trainers and creative campaigners, and watching your campaigns take shape!
See you there!
At the Yes Lab, we rely on our community. So we won’t sugar-coat it: we need your support… like now.
Here are some gifts (to you, or to the Yes Men fan of your choice!) we're offering in return for support:
- For any $10/month or more recurring contribution, get special invitations to a series of live online conversations with the Yes Men.
- Give $100 or more and you'll get the above for one year, plus a signed copy of the New York Times Special Edition and an official (sort of) Presidential Letter of Appreciation.
- For $200 or more, you'll also get a signed copy of The Yes Men Fix the World.
Here are some good reasons to support the Yes Lab:
- Yes Lab actions can be extremely effective at exposing the evil of the world's top corporate villains.
- Compared to the wealthy entities we're up against, we do a lot of good with very little money.
- This, this, this, this, and this!
About our campaign so far:
- We are about 20% of the way to our goal of $75,000.
- The campaign ends in 14 days, on Dec. 31.
- If everyone on our list gave $2, we’d reach our goal.
- The average donation so far has been $62.
We hope you'll consider making your contribution, offering a unique holiday gift to your favorite Yes Men fan, and emailing your friends and family.
Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno
The Yes Men