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: 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. A spectacular music video and website with migrant-identification keys perpetuates the illusion...

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.

Reveal date: Dec 15 2014

Before the UN Climate Talks in Lima, the New York Times told us: “At stake now is the difference between a newly unpleasant world and an uninhabitable one.” But in Lima, the world's governments chose the latter, offering the world not solutions but rather a roadmap to global burning.

Are we really just going to sit by and watch until most species on earth—including our own—go extinct? Or are we going to turn up the heat on our tone-deaf leaders in every way that we can, until they finally realize they have to stand up to the fossil fuel companies, and stop the carbon madness?

Reveal date: May 19 2014 Tagged: climate change, divestment, fossil fuels

Yes Man and Reed College alum Mike Bonanno teamed up with students to deliver a fake announcement that Reed will divest from fossil fuels over his commencement speech.

Reveal date: Apr 30 2014 Tagged: climate change, Department of Energy, fracking, Homeland Security, Keystone XL

Environmental and indigenous rights activists team up with the Yes Men to impersonate the U.S. Department of Energy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Department of Defense, and announce the nation's new energy plan.

Reveal date: Nov 21 2013 Tagged: racism, the Netherlands, Zvarte Piet

A Dutch man in full costume appears on a Canadian talk show to explain the blackface elements of a holiday deeply cherished in the Netherlands.

Reveal date: Sep 16 2013 Tagged: Canada, Keystone XL, oil, pipeline, Tar Sands, TransCanada, YL

In towns across Canada, troupes of mischievous activists disrupted the attempts of TransCanada (of Keystone XL fame) to ram through another Tar Sands pipeline, Energy East, by dressing as TransCanada reps, but with "SaveCanada" logos, and telling the real story.

Reveal date: Aug 21 2013 Tagged: Amsterdam, arctic, climate change, Gazprom, oil, Shell

Royal Dutch Shell and Russia's Gazprom team up to open the newly accessible Russian Arctic to oil drilling. To help them celebrate, Greenpeace teamed up with the Yes Lab and activists from Russia and the Netherlands to throw a barge party on the canals of Amsterdam, complete with a drugged up polar bear, a marching band, and a singing Russian child.

Reveal date: Aug 14 2013 Tagged: corn, genetically modified, Mexico, Monsanto

In Chiapas, México, a group of students and activists issued a fake Monsanto press release announcing the Mexican government had officially approved the sale of their patented seeds on a commercial scale. Though the announcement was a fake, Monsanto apparently felt very threatened.

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