By on Nov 26 2013 - 12:36pm Tagged: Barack Obama



Dear the American People,

Things are tough for me at the moment; as you may know, the website for my health care plan had a big glitch.

If I were my predecessor, I'd order a full-scale attack on Webistan. Fortunately Webistan doesn't exist, so I've just had to deal.

Dealing is hard. But I know in my heart that despite this glitch, and even if there are additional glitches, we will one day in this country have a health care system even better than Cuba's.

How do I stay optimistic? Simple: as a one-time community organizer, I know that even when actions don't achieve miracles right out the door, the overall movement does often succeed. Even glitches can play a part in the triumph.

Take, for example, that raggedy group of anti-corporate weirdos, the Yes Men.

In 2009, the Yes Men and friends impersonated the US Chamber of Commerce to announce that the Chamber was no longer opposing climate legislation. A real Chamber rep barged in the door; the ensuing melee resulted in tons of hilarious media coverage–and even more when the Chamber sued the Yes Men.

But so what? Well, two weeks after this action, the Chamber really did reverse its opposition. As my colleague Al Gore noted at the time, the Chamber's about-face was "not courtesy of the Yes Men"–—but their action was part of the wave that forced it to happen!

Shortly after that action, the Yes Men formed the Yes Lab and have worked with a number of groups to pull off high-profile media actions around the groups' goals. None of those actions changed the world by itself. Some merely put the issue front and center for a few minutes, others for a few hours. Some of them even had website glitches as bad as mine. Yet most of the movements these actions were a part of succeeded!

Shell's Arctic drilling program ended up failing, thanks to nature and Shell's own incompetence. Monsanto's GMO corn was banned in Mexico. New York City’s courts found Stop and Frisk policing unconstitutional, despite Bloomberg.

So, movements can succeed. Isn't that comforting? It suggests that we, too, could one day succeed at achieving a level of health care for all Americans that's currently afforded only the wealthy, or prisoners—no matter how many glitches my website may currently have.

The Yes Men prove it. Which is why you should support them as lavishly as you possibly can.

Thank you,

Barack Obama
44th President of the United States

PS: I was proud to present the Yes Men with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Pics below:



Please help out my friends. They need all the help they can get.



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By Richelle on Nov 22 2013 - 12:10pm Tagged:

We all know the facts: the sixth greatest mass extinction in Earth's history is already underway—and this time it's all our fault. We all know about rising sea levels, epic floods and hurricanes, wildly fluctuating temperatures, and ever-more-deadly droughts. We know that bad things are happening, and we know that the people causing the mess are profiting from it immensely, while the poorest people are getting hurt most.

In the face of these facts, it's no wonder we're often paralyzed. The scale of the unfolding disaster is simply too huge to stomach. And after a hard day at work, listening to more dire warnings has about as much appeal as sliding down the proverbial razor blade, and just sends us further into bewildered hopelessness.  

At the Yes Lab, we use humor to help journalists and other people talk about difficult issues that matter a lot—like "free" trade, global capitalism, and now the end of a livable planet. On that last theme, we mostly use humor to focus attention on the real criminals, the companies that are making off like the bandits they are.  

At its best, humor can break through the general paralysis and get more people to join the movement for climate justice. Humor can be a Trojan horse for important, mobilizing messages that don't qualify as news in today's corrupt media environment. Jokes aren't ends in themselves, but they can be important ingredients for bigger campaigns, drawing attention to critical facts without much of the preachiness that sometimes turns people off.

Our upcoming movie focuses on our recent climate actions, and includes an inspiring personal story that is geared to get audiences acting for change. And with our soon-to-be-launched Action Switchboard, accessing tools, guidance, and partners for brand-new actions will have never been easier.

We rely on our savvy, brilliant, and generous network to keep this stuff going. So please, if you can, help keep the Yes Lab afloat!

For every dollar up to $75,000 we raise between now and Dec. 31, Kindle Project will match every dollar with a whole other one. That's two dollars for one! So if you haven't given yet, please do. And if you have (thanks!), please urge your friends to do the same.

Thanks for your support,


This is reason #2 to support the Yes Lab, out of a total of 8. If you can't donate financially, you can still help us by sharing this campaign with your friends. You can email it, tweet about it with @theyesmen and we'll retweet you, and/or Facebook about it and tag the Yes Men or The Yes Men Are Revolting.


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By on Nov 19 2013 - 10:57am Tagged:


Thursday November 21, 6pm
Daniel Hunter relates a rare first hand account of the movement to keep casinos out of Philadelphia. Outspent by hundreds of millions of dollars, up against powerful elected officials, private investigators, thugs, and the supreme court, this riveting David versus Goliath story gives unparalleled access to the behind-the-scenes of campaigns: the fervent worrying in late-night meetings, yelling matches behind church benches, and last-minute action planning outside judges' chambers. It's in the heat of these moments that the nuances of strategy come to life, showing what it takes to overpower billionaires for a cause you believe in.
For more info or to buy the book, join us on Facebook and go to
Daniel Hunter is a direct action organizer and trainer with Training for Change where he trains activists in experiential methodology and campaign strategy. His new book, Strategy & Soul: a campaigner's tale of fighting billionaires, corrupt officials, and Philadelphia casinos, is a David versus Goliath story of the campaign to keep casinos out of Philadelphia. He has been published in We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America and in Beautiful Trouble: A toolbox for revolution

Support for this series is provided by
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By Richelle on Nov 15 2013 - 12:06pm Tagged:

Reason #1: The Yes Lab is Revolting


Give now to defeat evil


In the last twenty years, we Yes Men have taken on some of the world’s nastiest corporate criminals, using harmless lies to expose some really harmful stuff. We founded the Yes Lab in 2009 to train others in our no-holds-barred approach to fighting the bad guys.


It's been successful—so successful that we'll be scaling up dramatically in 2014 with the Action Switchboard, which we'll launch off the back of our upcoming film. Together, these are designed to get thousands of people out of their seats and into the streets, giving them the motivation, tools, and community to act for change. Truly revolting.

So prepare yourself for some extra doses of meaningful mischief in the coming years… but only if we can get the financial support we need right now.


Some of the Yes Lab's recent successes include:



Naturally, we didn't do this all on our own. At the Yes Lab, we use humor to hijack media and provide a surge of attention for a crucial cause at just theright moment. At our best, we push existing campaigns over the edge. None of that would be possible without the work of the organizers and activists we partner with.


Here’s the thing: this work takes relatively little money, but it does take some. As our organization grows, we are able to do more and more actions and trainings. We will soon need to increase our capacity, which may mean hiring new staff to tackle the many intricacies of our blossoming non-profit. We rely on you to make this work possible—any amount helps.


Thanks for your support!


From all of us here at Yes Lab

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By on Nov 11 2013 - 10:58pm Tagged:

UPDATE 12/31/13: Kindle Project has generously extended the deadline of their match until January 17th! 

The Yes Lab needs your help! 
And there's this incredible catch: If we raise $75,000 before December 31, Kindle Project will match it dollar for dollar. No joke. Click here to contribute.

The wealthy villains we’re up against exploit people to make huge profits. But we rely on the generosity of our incredible Yes community to expose corporate crimes against humanity and the environment.

Find more reasons to support the Yes Lab here.
Get your friends to contribute too! Email it—personal endorsements from you are the most effective! Tweet about the campaign with @theyesmen and we'll retweet you. Facebook about it and tag The Yes Men or The Yes Men Are Revolting pages.
Thanks for your support!
Team Yes Lab
PS - You can also donate by check! Make it out to The Yes Lab with this note in the memo: Yes Lab Year End Campaign. Mail it to:
Yes Lab, Hemispheric Institute
30 Cooper Square, 5th Fl.
New York, NY 10003

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Sep 30 2013 - 10:59am Tagged: Project: SaveCanada

Sept. 30, 2013

Pipeline Company's PR Dream Turns Into a Nightmare
TransCanada's "community consultation" squad dogged by activist lookalikes

In towns across Canada, troupes of mischievous activists are successfully derailing the attempts of TransCanada—the company building the stalled Keystone XL pipeline—to ram through their latest proposed project, the Energy East pipeline, which would bring over a million barrels of Tar Sands oil to the East Coast for export, primarily to Europe and Asia.

During previous pipeline projects, stakeholders were able to express concerns in front of their whole community. To impede the type of opposition that has stalled past projects, this time TransCanada has changed the format of community consultations, turning them into trade-show-like promotional events where stakeholders can only speak one-on-one with company representatives (or PR contractors hired for the occasion).

To outwit this latest ploy by TransCanada, local activists all along the pipeline route have been swarming these events dressed just like TransCanada reps, but with lookalike "SaveCanada" name tags and brochures. Instead of promoting the pipeline, the SaveCanada reps communicate risks.

"Since TransCanada has come up with a new way to lie to the public, we had to come up with a new way to tell the truth," said North Bay farmer Yan Roberts, who helped to launch the unusual protest. "We're friendly folks, so our solution is to dress like them, outnumber them, and 'out-friendly' them in every community they're trying to scam."

The series of SaveCanada actions began at TransCanada's open house in North Bay, where roughly 30 TransCanada reps were surprised to see their meeting overwhelmed by newcomers wearing nearly identical shirts and also carrying slick PR materials, but with a twist.

Now, ten other towns have orchestrated their own versions of the prank. When TransCanada came to the Montréal area on September 24, members of the Québécois SaveCanada counterpart, "SansTransCanada," nearly outnumbered the TransCanada reps. A Global TV segment even identified a SansTransCanada activist as a TransCanada rep.

The Montréal SaveCanada action came to a carnivalesque conclusion when attendees were invited to play "pin the bitumen spill on the pipeline" and a crowd formed around TransCanda's large route map to see where the sticky-note spill would end up.

NASA's James Hansen has said of the Keystone XL pipeline that, if built, it will be "game over" for the climate. This is truer still for the Energy East pipeline, as it's designed to carry a greater volume. The new pipeline also threatens the local communities in its path with inevitable leaks.

"In the next few weeks TransCanada is holding more of these so-called 'consultations,' and we are looking forward to seeing them derailed by every community they hope to fool." said Roberts. "Then we'll see what they try next, and we'll derail that, too."

Upcoming TransCanada "consultations" are scheduled in: Saint-Honoré-de-Témiscouata, Québec (Oct. 1); Kemptville, Ontario and St-Onésime-d'Ixworth, Québec (October 2); Montmagny, Québec and Horton, Ontario (Oct. 3); and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada's capital city (Oct. 10). To help derail one of these events, please visit

"Companies may try to invent new ways to fool people, but citizens will always be more powerful because we care more," said Shona Watt, a local organizer of the Montréal SaveCanada/SansTransCanada action. "What's guaranteed is that, ultimately, people will win."

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Sep 16 2013 - 1:50pm Tagged: Project: SaveCanada

O Canada! SaveCanada needs mischievous folks in Ontario and Quebec to stop TransCanada's latest Tar Sands pipeline—by dressing up and talking to people over the next three weeks! Visit for full details and to join, to watch the video, and for an account of one action.

Email or visit to join up!

As you may know, TransCanada is now planning another pipeline, this one sending oodles of tar sands crud east.

This time, they're employing a special new tactic to bypass the opposition that's stalled two other pipelines (south and west): instead of holding a town hall, which lets citizens see how many other folks are concerned, they've switched to a trade-show format where an army of TransCanada reps can limit questions and conversations to a one-on-one level. The result: folks don't get to see how widespread the opposition is in their own community.

When TransCanada came to one Canadian town to promote their new pipeline, a group of locals took action: they made outfits and handouts nearly identical to TransCanada's own, but branded as "SaveCanada." At the event, they spoke with citizens about risks, handed out pamphlets, pinned "bitumen spill" stickies on TransCanada's big pipeline map, and otherwise ruined TransCanada's plans. Connections were made, people were empowered, and a town, once paralyzed, blossomed into a powerful and mobilized community.

Now, citizens from all over Canada (especially Ontario and Quebec) are invited to join SaveCanada over the next three weeks and disrupt all the rest of TransCanada's "Open Houses."

Email or visit to join up!

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By on Jun 13 2013 - 10:36am Tagged: Project: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Goes Green

June 13, 2013

Yes Men Win Legal Battle With U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Despondent Activists Mourn Lawsuit Withdrawal

Electronic Frontier Foundation statement here
UPDATE: Photos and video from press conference added below

Washington DC, June 13, 2013 – The Yes Men today implored the U..S. Chamber of Commerce to reconsider their recent decision to withdraw the lawsuit they filed nearly four years ago, in a press conference on the steps of the lobbying giant itself.

"Just as their case against us was finally heating up again, the U.S. Chamber decided to drop it," said former defendant Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men. "The U.S. Chamber knew this was our chance to challenge their silly claims and, since they claimed we had 'damaged' them, investigate the details of their finances through the discovery process. It's the height of rudeness to deprive us of this great opportunity."

"The U.S. Chamber's lawsuit represented the only time in 17 years that anyone has been stupid enough to sue us," said former defendant Mike Bonanno. "This was the chance of a lifetime, and we profoundly deplore the U.S. Chamber's about-face."

The U.S. Chamber sued the Yes Men and collaborators in 2009 after the activists held a press conference as the U.S. Chamber and announced that they were going to completely reverse their regressive environmental policy and support emissions reduction legislation. In their complaint, the U.S. Chamber claimed that the phony announcement was “commercial identity theft” and accused them of cyberpiracy, trademark infringement, and false advertising. The Yes Men had legal help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Davis Wright Tremaine, and were eager to fight back against this attack on political free speech.

"In just the last fifteen years, the hoaxsters at the U.S. Chamber have spent nearly a billion dollars lying to children and adults, and generally lobbying for corporations and against humans," said Bichlbaum. "This lawsuit gave us a chance to help reveal the U.S. Chamber's many hoaxes to the public."

The Yes Men are considering a lawsuit against the U.S. Chamber for depriving them of the opportunity to expose them. "Tell 'em to put their damn helmets on," said Bonanno, echoing Tom Donohue's words upon launching the U.S. Chamber lawsuit in 2009. No lawyers have thus far volunteered to take on the new Yes Men case.

Video of the full speech from the 06/13/2013 press conference in front the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

Highlights of the following Q&A: 

Stills from the press confrence:


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By on Jun 5 2013 - 9:10am Tagged: immigration, students, college, education Project: DREAMers Keep On Dreaming

June 5, 2013

Dreams of attending college dashed for many undocumented students
Undocumented activist takes credit for fake announcement that would have ended discrimination in college application process

New Orleans -- The Common Application, Inc., the college application service accepted by 488 colleges, has been trying to contain the news of a fake announcement that claimed they would cease discriminating against in the college application process.

When reached for comment, Executive Director Rob Killion said he did not know who was behind the false statement, but that it did not come from the Common Application: "There is nothing to share with you that is new about the way the Common App has approached undocumented students compared to how it has done so in the past." Killion explained that undocumented students can use the application but are not included in the Application's non-discrimination clause.

The hoax began last Thursday in New Orleans, when "Daniel Vargas, Communications Director for The Common Application," took the stage at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education. “Vargas” is really David Ramirez, an undocumented activist with the Immigrant Youth Justice League from Chicago, who took credit for the fake announcement Tuesday afternoon. David/Daniel announced that the organization was (1) apologizing for "years of discrimination against the undocumented community," (2) including the category 'undocumented American' in the upcoming application, (3) adding “undocumented status” to the organization's non-discrimination clause, which legally binds over 400 private colleges that were discriminating.

"I did this because I am undocumented, my community is undocumented, and my community is under attack by the Common Application, which is stealing the hopes and dreams of my undocumented brothers and sisters across the country. I made the announcement because it needed to be said. I hope the Common Application repeats it word for word in the coming days." said David.

The announcement was welcomed by the 2,000 conference attendees, representing hundreds of colleges across the country, some of whom took to Twitter to echo David/Daniel's statement that "equality is not radical but common sense." A fake press release led to coverage by Cuentame, Colorlines, and other media outlets. On Twitter and Facebook tens of thousands welcomed this announcement as a historic stand for equality including national immigration groups, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the President of Barnard College, and many from the undocumented community.

Mitzy, an undocumented student at Freedom University in Georgia, commented: "The Common Application oppresses our community, segregates our nation's higher education system by immigration status, so our community is fighting back. I feel like the headline should read 'Brown v. Board retracted: Supreme Court Blames Activists for Hoax Ruling.'"

David, born in Mexico, has been undocumented since he was one year old. He has been openly undocumented since he was 17. A long time activist, David was arrested in a civil disobedience action in Atlanta in 2011 in opposition to the Georgia’s ban of undocumented students from public universities. David participated in the Undocubus in 2012 that protested the Democratic National Convention. David's recent act of political theater is a continuation of the undocumented community's struggle for college access.

David and Freedom University students have extended an invitation to Rob Killion to meet with them at Freedom University, a volunteer-run project offering free college-level classes to undocumented students. Because of Georgia’s ban, for most of the students their only option is to apply to private colleges - unfortunately over 400 of the Common Application's members are private colleges that routinely discriminate against undocumented applicants by labeling them "international," which guarantees them a separate and unequal admissions process. According to one study, as few as 5% of undocumented students ever attend college. Rob Killion has not responded to their offer to discuss the hopes and struggles of undocumented students.

For more information, please contact:
Daniel Vargas/David Ramirez
(202) 430 - 6048

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By on Apr 2 2013 - 7:38pm Tagged:

The series continues this week with 

Birgitta Jonsdottir

Thursday, April 4th
The Arthur L. Carter Journalism Insitute
20 Cooper Sq. 7th Floor
Photo ID required
Please RSVP

Member of the Icelandic parliament for The Movement, Birgitta co-produced the Wikileaks Collateral Murder video, and has been an activist and a spokesperson for various groups including Wikileaks, Saving Iceland, Friends of Tibet in Iceland, and the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative.


Penny Arcade

 Tuesday, April 9th
Performance Studies Dept.
721 Broadway, 6th Floor

Photo ID required

It is impossible to describe Penny Arcade without entering the world of hyperbole she personifies. Since first leaving home at age 13 to join the world of queers, junkies, whores, stars, stalkers, and geniuses, she has become one of the most influential performers in the world. By displaying her singular brand of feminist sexuality and personal conflict she has garnered countless fans worldwide.


Check out the rest of our crazy line-up for Spring 2013:


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