For Immediate Release
Woman Loses Job for Bloomberg/Warlord Comparison
"Bloomberg rep" fired from market research firm for performance highlighting absent mayor's violent tactics
NEW YORK - An actress who played a Bloomberg representative in a satirical performance a block away from the mayor's E. 79th St. residence this past Sunday was fired from her job as an independent contractor at a market research consulting firm.
"They said my performance had put the company in an uncomfortable position," said Mary Notari, who learned of her firing from a phone call Monday afternoon. "The mayor has said 'No right is absolute' -- including, apparently, the right to poke fun at him for using violent force against his own people and for bending the law to do so."
In Notari's performance, she asked the recently-evicted protesters how they would "feel if someone came to your place of residence and prevented you from moving freely?" She also announced that the protesters had "put the mayor under siege" and had "reduced him to behaving like a medieval warlord."
Police prevented protesters from entering the E. 79th St. block where the mayor spends weekdays. When asked if the mayor was there at the time, a police officer answered: "No, he's in Bermuda. He goes there every weekend. He's a billionaire, he goes where he wants. Learjet."
"What the police have done is made 79th Street between 5th and Madison a no-First-Amendment zone," said Norman Siegel, a civil liberties lawyer. "The Constitution doesn't say you have First Amendment rights except where Mayor Bloomberg lives."
"Don't get me wrong, I find drum circles just as annoying as the mayor does," said Notari. "But the beating of drums is nothing compared to the beatings his police officers have delivered to peaceful protesters this past week."
Video of Notari's Sunday performance can be seen at http://www.yeslab.org/
At the moment, the Yes Lab is mainly a series of brainstorms and trainings to help activist groups carry out media-getting creative actions, focused on their own campaign goals. It's a way for social justice organizations to take advantage of all that we Yes Men have learned-not only about our own ways of doing things, but those we've come in contact with over the decade and a half we've been doing this sort of thing. The Yes Lab has offices and workshopping space at NYU's Hemispheric Institute in New York.