Paola Yacoub/Michel Lasserre

Yes Men New York

The Yes Men are a group of anti-corporate activists who gained worldwide notoriety for impersonating World Trade Organization spokesmen on TV and at business conferences around the world. They describe what they do as "Identity Correction". Unlike Identity Theft, which criminals practice with dishonest intent, "Identity Correction" is the art of impersonating someone in power to publicly humiliate them for conspiring against the public good.
Among other things the Yes Men operate the website GATT – which stands for "General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade" – was replaced by the WTO in 1994 and the GATT homepage, at first glance, looks like the WTO website. If one looks more closely, however, one realizes that it actually contains information on anti-globalisation. The group receives invitations to high-level meetings through an e-mail account provided on their website. The Yes Men accept these invitations, appear at public meetings as representatives of the WTO and give absurd lectures, in which they express curious opinions in the name of the WTO.
At an economic conference in Austria one "Dr. Bichlbauer" explained to the astonished public that the WTO intended to grant the right to vote only to large companies. During a round-table discussion on CNN an alleged WTO representative said that the organization was orienting itself according to Charles Darwin and that globalisation opponents belong in re-education camps: "We find that these people orient themselves too much toward reality."
According to their own statement the Yes Men want to show, "that it is possible to publicise dangerous ideas in the name of the WTO, and whoever listens attentively will realize that these ideas are rationally the only logical consequence of what the WTO is already propagating."
Recent projects include the initiative regarding the US election campaign and the BBC/Bhopal Hoax