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London chapter interviews Yes Men activist Mike Bonanno

In this action, Bonanno speaks at a meeting of oil and gas executives in Calgary. The executives were told that the “commemorative candles” were sourced from Reggie Watson, a fictitious ExxonMobil janitor who died from cancer as a result of cleaning up a toxic spill. Photo by ItzaFineDay.

The Council of Canadians London chapter recently interviewed one of the members of the Yes Men. As noted on their website, “The Yes Men have impersonated World Trade Organization, Dow Chemical Corporation, and Bush administration spokesmen on TV and at business conferences around the world. They do this (a) in order to demonstrate some of the mechanisms that keep bad people and ideas in power, and (b) because it’s absurdly fun. Their main goal is to focus attention on the dangers of economic policies that place the rights of capital before the needs of people and the environment.”

Rabble.ca contributor Meg Borthwick writes, “David Heap and Julie Picken-Cooper of the London Chapter of the Council of Canadians recently had an opportunity to interview Mike Bonanno of The Yes Men aka Igor Vamos. Vamos is an associate professor of media arts at the Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute’s School of Humanities and Social Studies [in Troy, New York].”

David Heap: Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis said the best gift people can give an incoming government, a new Liberal government, is ‘relentless pressure from below’. Part of that pressure is the climate welcome organized by various climate justice movements in Canada (this) week when the new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, will be sworn into office and his cabinet will be sworn in.

Mike Bonanno: That sounds great. I thinks that’s probably the most important thing, putting pressure on government to deliver. They may have the mandate but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to fight the system they’re stuck in. We had that situation with Obama.

Julie Picken-Cooper: The climate welcome is a three day action where climate activists from all over Canada will be delivering gifts to the new federal party. The first day they’re delivering broken treaties, the third day is water. So we’ll all support this, we really want to grab their attention right from the get go.

Mike Bonanno: Alright! That sounds great!

The Yes Men have made three films, The Yes Men (2003), The Yes Men Fix the World (2009) and The Yes Men Are Revolting (2014). The Yes Men Are Revolting was screened last night in London by Cinema Politica. To see the trailer for The Yes Men Are Revolting, please click here.

To read the full interview by Heap and Picken-Cooper with Bonanno, click here.