On behalf of Apple, students from the New School in New York, adovocacy group Friends of the Congo, and the Yes Lab, launched a fake Apple website announcing an exciting new ethical product from the hip computer giant: the iPhone4-CF.
“CF” stands for conflict-free, which “Apple” promised its new phone would be. The new phone bested the old version by making sure its minerals weren’t sourced from conflict-ridden regions like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where battles over mining rights have fueled countless atrocities and massacres.
Apple’s iPhone4-CF received a splashy product launch in the streets of New York, in front of the company’s flagship Midtown Manhattan store.
Apple, normally conflict-averse, was not amused. At their behest, the NYPD showed up en masse and attemped to barricade the students into a holding pen. The activists also called for the arrest of John Paulson, founder of a New York-based hedge fund that heavily invests in the sort of Congo mining that fuels conflict. (The NYPD did not respond with as much vigor to that request.)
In a subsequent press release by “Apple,” the activists called for the enforcement of a law, introduced by then-Senator Obama, to take clear steps towards the resolution of the Congo conflict—steps that have still not been taken.
- New York Magazine: The Yes Men Would Like You to Try to Arrest John Paulson
- CNBC: Group Calls For Citizens Arrest Of John Paulson