The Yes Men strike again
I am amazed these guys haven’t gotten themselves arrested yet. If anything is going to happen to them law-wise, I think this stunt is going to do it.
The Yes Men are a group of “activists” who like to pose as government officials or corporate spokespersons at speaking functions and such, and make statements that would be untenable or ridiculous for the government or corporation to say. They do this with the idea of pointing out hypocrisy, inethical behavior, and the like. For instance, one Yes Man posed as a spokeperson for Dow Chemical, and came out and said that the Bhopal disaster was their responsibility, but they couldn’t do anything about it because then every major corporation would have to clean up their messes, and that would hurt profits and the shareholders.
Yesterday, one of their number spoke to some officials and contractors in Louisiana about the New Orleans clean-up, claiming to be from HUD. HUD is planning to tear down what some are claiming is perfectly serviceable public housing projects, to turn over the area to development for more gentrified dwellings. They claim the projects cause a crime problem.
The Yes Man in question (Andy Bichlbaum) basically said in front of a thousand people that HUD changed their minds about it, and were going to keep the public housing project and let people move in.
Some are attacking this latest stunt as crass; saying the Yes Men are giving false hope to people in need. I have to say I find this one in poor taste myself, a bit. However, I think it points out a problem with the rebuilding of the city – the poor are still being ignored in favor of the rich. That’s no surprise though.