The Yes Men strike again and this prank, like most of their work is amazing. Somehow, once again The Yes Men fool gate-keepers at all levels and masquerade as officials from a bogus group, Global Security Response, and waltz right into a press conference at the European Parliament. They mock the War on Terror by drawing attention to outrageous strategies that border on hilarity.
Named ‘the ENDURAsphere’, GSR billed its orb as a ‘sort of gated eco-commune for one … It has Generation 5 Kevlar padding and a plastic-alloy skin that allows the occupant to withstand any impact.’
‘All materials and effluent are processed for reuse in the occupant’s ENDURAsphere, or for trade or exchange with another.’
It’s unknown whether any of the members of press in attendance twigged that there is in fact no such company as Global Security Response, and that the ENDURAsphere was part of an elaborate hoax.
The event was the work of The Yes Men, a situationist group of political activists. The duo are best known for masquerading as spokesmen for large corporations in order to raise awareness of social and political issues, while lampooning the worst excesses of corporations.
Sporting a fake moustache and claiming to be GSR spokesman ‘Archibald Schumpeter’, the Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum told the press conference: “I’m really excited to be talking with you today about ways that nations that suffer terrorism can respond to terrorism in forceful but intelligent ways from within the defense and security paradigm that we’re used to.”
“But unfortunately, such responses have not generally been very intelligent. In fact, it’s been pretty much all stupid, all the time, every since 9/11.”
‘Schumpeter’ then highlighted how military responses to terror have generaly been counterproductive, leading to further attacks – and finally unveiled the ridiculous ENDURAsphere as an alternatice, ‘guaranteed to work against terrorism’.
In a statement on the Yes Men website Bichlbaum said: “This hoax was about highlighting that there really is no solution to terrorism within the defense and security paradigm. Military ‘solutions’ backfire badly.”
“Any ‘solution’ to terrorism that doesn’t take colonial history into account is bound to fail completely. From the parcelling of the Middle East after WWI to the invasion of Iraq by the US, there are reasons things are as they are.”
The press conference was arranged with the help of Greek MEP Stelios Kouloglou and German MEP Martin Sonneborn as part of a Charlie Hebdo commemoration. The Yes Men described it as ‘the first action of its sort to take place within the European Parliament.’
Speaking to press after the event, MEP Kouloglou said: “Bombing is a recruiting tool for ISIS. If we want to undermine terrorists, we need to end the war in Syria, welcome Middle Eastern refugees, and marginalize extremists by establishing better relationships with moderate forces in Islam. We also need to better integrate the youth of our most disadvantaged communities.”