Hijinks

Most of the hijinks below were undertaken by the Yes Men together with partner organizations. For some of them we did most of the work, but for some we just gave some advice. If you're inspired to try something like one of these on your own, check out our cookbook and get cracking!

Reveal date: Oct 28 2019

An "Indigenous pipeline company" demonstratively destroyed Duluth, with "sacred remains relocations" at Duluth cemeteries (one clumsy team kept dropping a casket as horrified churchgoers looked on), construction surveys at Duluth's most elite country clubs, and a number of public outreach events, including a catered announcement to business and political leaders.

Reveal date: Oct 1 2019 Tagged: apartheid, Housing

On 30 September, 2019, a horde of zombies attended a "#natsneverdie rally" at the Cape Town Civic Centre in order to support the City's policies, which are increasingly similar to those of the National Party under Apartheid. "Forced removal then, mass eviction now," moaned Nataniël Krokodil, an organiser of the rally, his half-fleshed rictus seeming to grin with delight. "Group Areas then, relocation camps now. We’re back and it feels great."

Reveal date: Sep 9 2019 Tagged: Arms, bullets, Guns, weapons

Early Monday morning, journalists gathered for a press conference at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof were treated to a surprising announcement: the Swiss arms manufacturer RUAG would no longer make and sell arms abroad. Given the state of the world, said “RUAG representatives” Renata Sahar and Patrick Frey, the company would switch to renewable energy and forest fire-fighting technologies.  The fake “RUAG” drove the message home with an inspiring video, and a delicious gun-shaped cake at the afterparty – which happened in the busy main hall of the train station. The story was presented on a “CNN” website and was almost instantly debunked in  Switzerland’s largest daily who revealed it all to be a production of the Neumarkt Theater, with the Yes Men, Brazilian exile Anderson Franca, Swiss performer Patrick Frey, and German Actor Sasha Soydan

Reveal date: May 23 2019 Tagged: banks, climate change, finance

One day after a hoax impersonation shamed Mizuho and other banks for financing new coal power plants against their own industry standards, the real Mizuho announced that they plan to limit their coal-financing policies in the future.

Reveal date: Jan 16 2019 Tagged: Capitalism

Early on January 16, thousands of commuters in Washington, D.C. were handed Washington Post — dated May 1, 2019. In the paper, Trump had fled office, and Democrats were offering a populist, and sure-to-be-popular, plan for the future — the only kind of vision that might compete with the far-right populism that 40 years of Democratic centrism has gotten us.

Reveal date: Jan 16 2019 Tagged: Capitalism, climate change, finance, investing

In the early morning of January 16, a few hours before announcing their fourth-quarter 2018 earnings, Laurence Fink, CEO of the biggest asset management company, received an email copy of his annual letter to investors. There was just one problem: he had not sent the real one out yet.

Reveal date: Apr 15 2018 Tagged: Art Car Parade, climate change, Dieselgate, emissions, Houston, Volkswagen, VW

In the wake of their criminal diesel emissions scandal, a repentant “Volkswagen” announced that they were going to launch an all-out war on climate change—starting with the behavior at the root of the problem: our addiction to fossil fuels.

Reveal date: Feb 2 2018

A group of ultra-right, pro-Trump Mexicans announce a solution to Trump's wall-building difficulties: they themselves will be that wall. In fact they already are: xenophobic Mexicans routinely make life difficult for Central American migrants, and are thus in cahoots with Trump.

Reveal date: Oct 3 2017 Tagged: climate change, Green Energy, Migration, Refugees

Hundreds of spectators witnessed a bizarre sight Saturday, when a slick new tech startup called RefuGreenErgy held a three-hour launch event in central Brussels, complete with four "RefuGreens" happily pedaling battery-filling bikes. "Company representatives" circulated among tourists and others, describing how the company would convert the power of bicycling refugees into electrical energy—giving the refugees 24-hour periods of amnesty and 1.60 euros per day, and Belgians "green electricity" and a "guilt-free way to help others."

Reveal date: Aug 1 2017 Tagged: Democratic Politics, DNC, Populism

One week after Democrats in Congress announced their new "populist" agenda, the Yes Men posed as DNC representatives and called their bluff by promoting progressive policies that are popular across the political spectrum, and have already been winning on the local level even in Trump-voting districts.

Reveal date: Jun 28 2016 Tagged: Data, Privacy, Snowden, Surveillance

140,000 people came to Roskilde Festival, but many were dismayed to find posted signs at entrances stating the festival would be collecting and indefinitely storing all text and phone conversations, internet activity, and metadata while on the festival grounds. The signs, designed to look like the festival’s official branding, informed attendees that all digital communications would be collected and shared with “partners”.

Reveal date: Jun 23 2016 Tagged: Guns, NRA, racism

At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, National Rifle Association spokesperson Hensley Cocker proudly unveiled Share the Safety, a “buy one, give one” program to get guns into the hands of unarmed Black men. Watch the action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvnyFPKX8-A

Reveal date: Apr 20 2016 Tagged: decriminalization, drug policy, marijuana, UN

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 LA Times quoted the UN's new plan to decriminalize drugs and make them a health care rather than criminal justice issue.

Reveal date: Apr 1 2016 Tagged: Act Up, drugs, Pharmaceuticals

Outside their headquarters in New York City, a Pfizer spokesperson gave a shocking announcement on April 1, 2016. “Pfizer will be cutting the price of over 100 medicines.” Cheers rang out from the nearly 100 activists gathered in expectation of this announcement, including members of ACT UP NY, Vocal NY, Housing Works, Health GAP, an affinity group Nobody’s Fool, and others. Little did they know this was part of an elaborate hoax to call out the greed and murderous indifference of the pharmaceutical industry, and illustrate just how easily they could do the right thing.

Reveal date: Jan 12 2016 Tagged: Brussels, terrorism

In European Parliament in Brussels, a "defense and security consultant" presented an "industrial solution to terrorism" which—unlike all other military and security solutions—is guaranteed to actually work.

Reveal date: Nov 1 2015 Tagged: cancer, Environment, Maryland

On All Hallow's Eve, some spooky ghosts took over downtown Frederick, MD to spread a truly terrifying story of the U.S. military's chemical and biological weapons testing in nearby Ft. Detrick.

Reveal date: Oct 12 2015

When Edward Snowden made his first in-person public appearance on U.S. soil since receiving a Presidential pardon, a bi-partisan crowd went wild. Sadly it wasn't true...

Reveal date: Jun 16 2015 Tagged: California, drought, food, water

In drought-ravaged California, producing one pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water. Moby and some friends found a way meat-loving Californians can find a way to sustainably enjoy their locally-raised cattle products: stop showering.

Reveal date: Jun 11 2015 Tagged: arctic, climate change, oil, Shell

Royal Dutch Shell has spent billions on its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. Despite setbacks, in the spring and summer of 2015, they were ramping up operations to go drill in areas made newly accessible by climate change. To counter the negative attention they were getting, we decided to help them out by launching a guerrilla marketing campaign to offer people a taste of the melting Arctic.

Reveal date: Mar 31 2015

When the pensions of the London Fire Brigade are threatened by new reforms, the Yes Men and local activists virally disseminate a hoax video of a dog being accidentally blown into a raging inferno at a demo by firefighters. Outrage at the animal cruelty turns into to outrage at the biggest threat to the livelihoods of London's bravest.

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