For Immediate Release
Yes Men 2.0: May a Thousand Yes Men and Women Bloom
Underground Activist Bunker - It ain't always easy being a Yes Man.
For years now, and especially since releasing our film,
we've been been flooded with emails saying we should go after evil
company A, or evil politician B, or military-industrial complex C.
Naturally, we can't. There are way too many evildoers, and far too few of us. Even with our fledgling internship program
we can't keep up with the flood of urgent issues, entities and
institutions that are in dire need of a good identity correction
spanking. The truth of the matter is, until recently we were starting
to get pretty bummed.
But then we saw the light. After all, there are lots of groups and
individuals who can surely do better than us, perhaps with a little
coaching and guidance.
That's why this fall we're launching the Yes Lab,
a series of brainstorms and trainings to help activist groups carry out
Yes-Men-style activist projects on their own. We'll give advice and
facilitate, but participants will carry out actions themselves, without
us. It's time for a whole new generation of Yes Men and Yes Woman to
take the stage.
We Yes Men have been doing our thing for about 12 years. Many of our
best projects have been in collaboration with activist groups--our BBC
announcement on behalf of Dow Chemical came out of a collaboration with
Greenpeace, for example.
Last fall, we collaborated with a coalition of groups to release a
much-improved "climate edition" of Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, and
to launch an assault on the U.N. by sea ("Balls Across America").
Also in collaboration with activists, we visited our nation's capital
to re-brand the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, then headed to Copenhagen to
successfully embarrass Canada about its terrible climate policies. (All
that and more here.)
In part because of these successes, we've realized it's high time
for us to get systematic about helping activist groups highlight
life-or-death issues--with or without the Yes Men's participation.
That's what the Yes Lab is all about.
In a typical Yes Lab project, an activist organization will come to
the Yes Lab with a target--e.g. Monsanto, war profiteers, greedy health
insurance companies, bad government policy, or one of those "too big to
fail" banks--as well as a clear and achievable goal: to impact public
debate, push for legislation, or to embarrass an evildoer. Through an
intensive one- to three-day brainstorming workshop, a detailed campaign
plan will be developed, time-lines and work plans will be hashed out,
and many conventions of "appropriate" avenues for political dissent
will be turned on their heads. The Yes Lab will be an incubator for the
kinds of creative, provocative and mediagenic activism that the twenty
first century so desperately calls for.
In fact, we've already started working with three different groups.
Naturally we can't tell you with whom, or why, or what any of it's
about, but stay tuned this fall to see some of the first fruits of our
brand spanking new Lab.
But first, and yes there's a first, we need your help! Despite what
the Chamber of Commerce might tell you, our independently produced
documentary film has not made anybody any money! (In fact we're still
in the red. Welcome to the glamorous world of nonfiction film). So
there's no magical trust fund to jump start our Yes Lab. We leave the
rest to your imagination, dear reader, but you can also find out more
about how to help here.
And most importantly: if you're with an activist organization, and
would like to work with the Yes Lab to develop some projects around an
issue you're working on, please drop us a line at YesLab at theyesmen
dot org, or via our contact form. We'd love to hear from you, even if
it could be a while before we have the capacity to really move forward
To a future of many yeses! Yours in productive bedlam,
The Yes Men