By Andy Bichlbaum on Oct 28 2019 - 10:42am Tagged: Project: Peace Pipeline

"Native Company" Routes "Peace Pipeline" Through City Cemeteries, Golf Courses, Schools
"Enbridge-funded initiative" makes amends for mass desecration of Indigenous sites

The IPC leadership will address the Duluth City Council at the 7pm Council meeting (411 West First Street, Room 330), and will be available to answer press questions afterwards.

DULUTH, MN - Enbridge Inc., the energy transport company whose Line 3 Replacement Project will overrun sacred tribal lands along its 1,031-mile route, is making amends to Native Americans by ceding full control over the final 19 miles to a company called the "Indigenous Pipeline Council" (IPC).

Or so it seemed this weekend in Duluth.

This Saturday and Sunday, the "IPC" (actually Indigenous activists Gitz Crazyboy and Tito Ybarra) began demonstratively destroying Duluth, beginning with "sacred remains relocations" at Duluth cemeteries (one clumsy team kept dropping a casket as horrified churchgoers looked on), construction surveys at Duluth's most elite country clubs, brochures and door hangers distributed widely, and a number of public outreach events, including a catered announcement to business and political leaders at the swanky Moorish Room in downtown Duluth.

During that event, hapless attendees were informed they were officially ceding control of their entire communities' landholdings by dint of their simple attendance. To seal the deal, many were asked to don a black foam headdress labelled "Oil Chief" (and they did), before joining a "Dance of the Black Snake" led by hissing, spitting IPC exec "Coyote Mick Tomi" (Ybarra).

Then, earlier today, the official announcement of the IPC's plans went out over email. That was soon met with an expression of concern (archive) from a fake "Minnesotans for Line 3"—the "real" group is in fact an industry front group, funded by Enbridge—followed quickly by an alarmed statement from a fake Enbridge (archive), formally retracting their "gift" of the 19-mile segment to the Native-run IPC.

The whole series of events—the falling cadavers and other interventions, the widely-seen blueprints and brochures, the fake press releases—was part of an elaborate hoax, concocted by Crazyboy and Ybarra in collaboration with the Yes Men.

The IPC’s route through cemeteries, golf clubs, and backyards mirrored the ways that Indigenous communities across the continent are affected by development. Energy companies like Enbridge routinely force pipelines through Indigenous lands, plowing through sacred burial sites without community consent, contaminating vital food systems, and devastating the health of Native communities. In a phenomenon known as the “Boomtown Effect,” developing areas of high oil extraction potential has been shown to correlate strongly with rising rates of violent crime, drug addiction, and in the case of native communities, murdered and missing Indigenous women.(1)(2)(3)

Right now, Enbridge is lobbying to build a new Line 3 route to replace the current leaking, 68-year-old original pipeline. At $7.5 billion, this pipeline would be the largest project in Enbridge’s history.(4) It would transport tar sands crude, one of the dirtiest fuels on earth; the crude's transport, processing, and eventual burning would result in C02 emissions equivalent to the output of 50 new coal fired power plants.(5) The route would violate treaty land rights held by the Anishaabeg since the 1850s (6), and would have a devastating environmental and cultural impact. Enbridge pipelines have spilled over 800 times in the last 15 years(7), including the largest spill in US history outside of Grand Rapids, MN in 1991, from the existing Line 3. In any 10-year period, there is a 57% chance of a major spill.(8)

"It’s hard to imagine that a pipeline as bad as the IPC’s could exist, but it's actually close to the truth, just in reverse," said executive director of Honor the Earth, Winona LaDuke. "Oil is destroying our land."

Some members of the Stop Line 3 coalition co-conspired to create this action. Support Stop Line 3 by donating or taking suggested action.




(2) "Native Leaders Bring Attention to Impact of Fossil Fuel Industry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls," Indigenous Environmental Network website

(3) "Drilling Down: An Examination of the Boom-Crime Relationship in Resource-Based Boom Counties," Western Criminology Review 15(1), 3-17 (2014)

(4) "Line 3 Replacement Program," Enbridge website

(5) "Line 3 Issues," Stop Line 3 website

(6) "Ojibwe Treaty Rights Fact Sheet," Honor the Earth website

(7) "Importing Disaster: The Anatomy of Enbridge’s Once and Future Oil Spills," >National WIldlife Federation

(8)"Leak Detection Study," U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Oct 1 2019 - 9:35am Tagged: Project: Nats Never Die

Zombies Zing ZA

After a horde of apartheid-era zombies took over Cape Town, activists spoofed the City's response. But the reality is no joke.

A horde of decrepit zombies (photos and videos here) swarmed Cape Town with a message that became front-page news in Cape Town today: apartheid-era policies are “back from the dead” in Cape Town, disguised as big-business-friendly development and housing policy. (See partial list of press coverage here.)

"The Mayor and many of the politicians running Cape Town are in fact former members of the National Party and the results of their policies are strikingly similar," said Jared Roussow of Reclaim the City (RTC), who organised the rally. "Families are displaced miles away from where they have lived, or evicted into homelessness, while the city sells public land in former white areas to developers who build housing for a wealthy few. We don’t need a zombie apocalypse—we need the City of Cape Town to build an inclusive city with affordable housing for all,” ("Nats" refers to members of the National Party responsible for apartheid.)

Although the action garnered front-page news the next morning, a question remained: what should the City of Cape Town do? To answer that, the Yes Men and Reclaim the City issued a blueprint on behalf of the City of Cape Town. The spoof press release deplored the action but explained in detail a fictitious five-point plan to overcome the legacy of apartheid and definitively desegregate Cape Town.

"Neoliberal politicians often claim that it is 'impractical' to provide services for those who can't afford much," said Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum. "Well here are very practical guidelines one particular city could follow if they so chose, and everyone would be much better off. But Cape Town prefers to let big developers build housing for the wealthy for financial profit. It's the same logic that runs much of the world, but here in South Africa it feels familiar from the days of apartheid, and people are doing something to fight it."

Reclaim the City members have occupied two unused public buildings in well-located areas within Cape Town. Two such buildings—a hospital and a nurses' home—cumulatively house over a thousand Capetonians who would otherwise be forced to live in "Temporary Relocation Areas" an hour's commute or more from their work and community. This and other RTC occupations constitute a larger amount of dignified housing for poor and working-class people than the City of Cape Town has built since the end of apartheid. And RTC provides the only emergency housing in Cape Town for evictees.

But what RTC does best is spread the word that there's another way to run a city than what neoliberals would have us believe. And that's a lesson we could all learn.



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By Andy Bichlbaum on Feb 10 2019 - 11:18pm Tagged:

Dearest Friends and Lovebirds,

Can you help us spread the love this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got four recent shareable projects that are all about love... and just for good measure, a special message of hate! First, the love:

From the desk of The Yes Men

As many of you know, Trump fled office in January, overwhelmed by a women-led movement targeting corporate Democrats and other enablers. The event was widely covered, and most of the papers announcing the event were distributed in D.C., but there are still a few left. For Valentine's Day, we've got a special spread-the-love sale, Wednesday through Friday only! Why not send a few to your Democratic representatives, to show them the sort of change that we all need to see—and why they’d better get on it. You could also place a few in your local cafe and see what happens—or give your Valentine the gift of false hope! (We know they’re not cheap, but there aren’t many left, and the revenues will help more love like this flow in the future.)

From the desk of The Yes Men

The same day the fake Post hit the streets of D.C., we released a love-filled version of BlackRock CEO’s annual letter just hours ahead of his real one. BlackRock is the world’s biggest asset manager, in control of $6 trillion, and our fake letter showed how BlackRock could easily divest from climate catastrophe and still remain profitable. Global financial and other press were amazed and delighted to see real action instead of BlackRock’s usual greenwashy bullshit. Visit BlackRock’s Big Problem to exercise your passions against this high-level driver of climate destruction.

From the desk of The Yes Men

Do you have a special human or corporate frenemy who uses too much fossil fuel? To show them how much you care, ask them to join Volkswagen’s Emissions Anonymous program, with its complete 12-step program. Before you let them know it’s not really VW, you can all join Extinction Rebellion to take real action: if there’s no chapter in your area, you and your most special friends can start one!

From the desk of The Yes Men

If you’re Mexican (and you are!*), don’t be like Somos El Muro (English version here), whose promotional video shows how any Mexican who discriminates against Central American migrants is part of Trump’s wall. It’s fictitious (we made it with a dozen Mexican and Central American activists), but the video got 3 million views in Central America and helped put the spotlight on Mexican xenophobia. You can support Central American migrants in Mexico through La 72 or any of the orgs highlighted in the press release; on the US side, Al Otro Lado does great work, among others.

* In the immortal words of Costa-Rican-born Chavela Vargas, "We Mexicans are born wherever the fuck we want." Same with Americans, for that matter.


We wouldn’t be with the times if we didn’t ask you to also share some hate too, even for Valentine’s Day - and we can think of nobody better to hate on than Facebook, which is still being used to drive people apart and manipulate elections, including the disastrous one in Brazil. Help spread the hate of Facebook itself by liking and sharing this new video of a "Facebook Exec" (really our own Mike Bonanno) accepting the Motherfucker Award for the "company that fucked up our reality most in 2018." If you don’t have a Facebook account (well done!) you can still watch it on YouTube.

With oodles of love and real hope for 2019,
The Yes Men

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Jan 16 2019 - 11:34am Tagged: Project: Trump Is Over - If You Want It

Unauthorized Special Edition of the Washington Post: “Trump Flees White House”
“Bye-Bye 45” offers road map to creating the near future we want and need

For a physical copy of the paper, visit our store or donate to the gofundme.
Newspaper website:
Photos: a few here, and also here, here, here, etc.
Press: lots of it, here!

Early this morning, thousands of commuters in Washington, D.C. were handed a spitting image of the Washington Post. But this one was dated May 1, 2019 — and in lieu of the Post’s usual tagline, "Democracy Dies in Darkness," the phrase "Democracy Awakens in Action” appeared at the top. The paper's lead headline: “Unpresidented: Trump Hastily Departs White House, Ending Crisis.” (An online version of the paper has also been making the rounds, at, complete with PDF of the print version.)

A scan of the paper's front page offers up a compelling backstory for Trump's flight: a women-led, multi-racial grassroots resistance. Their winning strategy is borrowed from other movements against authoritarian rulers: target those who support the tyrant, rather than the tyrant himself.

That strategy has also led to growing support for a package of groundbreaking progressive legislation known as the "Bundle": 64 bills sure to be popular across the political spectrum, including some — the Green New Deal bills, Medicare for All, the H.R. 1 election reform bill — that already are.

“The story this paper tells is more reasonable than our current reality,” says author Onnesha Roychoudhuri, who created the paper together with author L.A. Kauffman and trickster activist collective the Yes Men. “And it’s anything but far-fetched. We’re already seeing unprecedented levels of protest and resistance. Now we just need to ask ourselves: What’s next? This paper offers a blueprint to help us reclaim our democracy.”

Also included in the paper is an action guide, “Bye-Bye 45: A Guide to Bringing Him Down,” in which leading strategists outline ways to bring about the paper's ambitious vision.

The special Post edition outlines other elements of this very possible near-future: Mike Pence is sworn in for a “clipped-duck” term—held in check by the millions of Americans who have mobilized, protested, occupied their elected officials’ offices, and otherwise thrown sand in the gears of his predecessor’s tyrannical presidency. The “actions that turned the tide,” according to the paper, are diverse and colorful, and include widespread, everyday resistance like ride-share drivers refusing to pick up Trump administration officials. Larger-scale actions include sticky and rambunctious “sippy-cup sit-ins,” in which mothers with young children occupy their representatives’ offices until they agree to stop cooperating with Trump. And there's also a “wall of floof,” in which young women in quinceañera gowns use their layers of taffeta to blockade a government building.

“This newspaper is a fantasy,” says Kauffman, “but it’s rooted in both reality and scholarship. Our stories build on real-world resistance to Trump and insights about how ordinary people can dislodge an unfit leader.”  


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By Andy Bichlbaum on Dec 11 2018 - 8:10pm Tagged:

Dear Friend,

Remember when we told you we were cooking up a surprise—something that would put a smile on your face and a big ugly orange grimace on someone else's? Well, our world-jiggling plan's nearly here!

Like thousands of you, we worked hard around the midterm elections. The House and many state-level offices will now be in the hands of Democrats. That makes our big little project even more potent, and we can't wait to unveil it. But we need just a little more moolah to finish this job.

Thanks to your already incredible generosity, the project is nearing the finish line. All we need now is to cover a few remaining project costs, and to pay everyone a token amount for the months of work it's entailed, keeping everyone's spirits up so we can make the best project we possibly can.

Luckily, it's ho-ho-ho season, so any contribution (and the rewards that come with it) can make a nice gift, personally dedicated and emailed to the feisty young niece, worried grandma, or politically bewildered brother of your choice. (The project itself, and therefore the rewards, will be ready early in the New Year.)

Can you kick in $20, $35, $50 or more to kick off the new Congress in style, and help put our country on track to a better future?

Here's wishing us all a happy holiday season and—especially—many happy returns!

The Yes Men and friends

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Sep 2 2018 - 3:20pm Tagged:

Dear Friend,

We have great news: As of Friday, we have an official partnership with a huge progressive organization with millions of members, who will help get our secret project to a giant swath of Americans. We can now think really big! And to pull this off at the change-making scale that's now, thanks to our new partnership, possible, we're upping our campaign goal to $60,000. (Our partner org is, rightly, using their finances for the midterm elections.)

Your incredible enthusiasm—in its very first day, our campaign exceeded all expectations, and in only five days we reached our four-week goal—shows how badly we're all craving something to keep the 2018 midterms momentum going, and not only help rid the land of the orange menace, but steer us to a future (almost) everyone can get excited about.

We can't tell you how grateful we are for your incredible support. We're exploring all fundraising avenues for this expanded project (please email us if you have any ideas!), but we also need you, our community, now more than ever. Please donate if you're able, if you haven't already—it's tax-deductible, and for donations of $60 or more we'll send you a lovely souvenir.

And even if you can't, please take two minutes to spread our campaign by sharing the post at the top of our Facebook page, or retweeting our twitter post, or adapting the below text for your social media poison of choice:

I'm helping the Yes Men's new (secret!) project to make a great post-Trump world! Join us at #ByeBye45 #HelloBetterWorld #Resist @theyesmen

THANK YOU for everything you've already done. And finally: please, please, please get involved in a Midterm election near you. Sure, elections are only the start of taking our country back—but they're definitely an essential one.

The Yes Men and friends

P.S. We want more than your money—we want YOU… to help when this action rolls out. If you haven’t already, please visit your profile by entering your email on our front page, lower left, and let us know (more or less) where you live!

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Aug 28 2018 - 7:32am Tagged:

Dear Friend,

We have a big crazy plan, a secret surprise—and it needs your help. We can’t say much more, but here’s what we can say:

  1. It'll build on the 2018 midterm elections, and will be a kick in the pants—to a future we can all be excited about.
  2. It'll put a smile on your face, and an ugly orange grimace on someone else’s.
  3. No one has tried anything like this, at least not since that calamitous 2016 election. It's simple, it's bold, and... oops! we've said too much already!

We've got great support and collaboration already—but we need a bit more of both. Can you pitch in a few bucks (tax-deductible!), and be part of our most important action ever?

If you join our GoFundMe here, you’ll be the first to hear about this when it happens. Any amount is useful, but for donations of $60 or more, we'll also send you a lovely souvenir of the time we helped save our country together, which you can mount on your mantel and show your great-grandkids.

If you need to know more… well, sorry, we just can’t tell you! But if you join our most important action to date, you'll be the first to find out.

The Yes Men and friends

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Feb 26 2018 - 10:06pm Tagged: Project: NRA Shares the Safety

New Yes Men film highlights fundamental racism of modern gun lobby

Available formats: YouTube, Facebook

(Feb. 28, 2018) In the wake of the Parkland shooting and the inspiring activism of teen survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the National Rifle Association and its Republican partners are facing intense scrutiny for their critical role in the rise of mass shootings and of homicides overall in America.

The NRA’s unhinged rhetoric and utter lack of remorse have been on full display since the horrific gun massacre at Stoneman Douglas two weeks ago. Spokesperson Dana Loesch (notorious for her recent ads that seem to be mustering NRA supporters into a pro-Trump paramilitary) even seemed to blame the media for the shootings, while NRA President Wayne LaPierre spewed more of his usual "arm the teachers" lunacy (promptly parroted by the current occupant of the Oval Office).

A short Yes Men film, completed in August 2017 and launched today on YouTube, uses shock humor to remind us where the NRA's lunacy and ugliness come from: FEAR—specifically, the profoundly terrified racism of the '70s. Featuring a Yes Men hoax performed June 22, 2016 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the film tells:

  • how Republicans—in a terrified reaction to the Black Panthers' performative activism—once promoted the first gun-control legislation;
  • how, once the Black Power movement was crushed, Republicans began calling for looser gun-control legislation, presumably for (white) "defense";
  • how the NRA, once a moderate organization, became a tool of racist Republican fear when it was hijacked by extremists including LaPierre, its current president; and
  • how fear of a Black uprising partly morphed into the right-wing street's signature terror of "government" (which in its best form, after all, is just another word for "people power").

The film communicates how the NRA and the Republican Party, tapping into deep racist fear for their power and profit, have turned America into the most violent high-income country in the world by a truly immense margin, both overall and specifically. (We have 7 times the homicide rate, and 25 times the rate of gun deaths, of the average high-income country—mainly thanks to Republicans and the NRA.)

The film also features a comical encounter with the NRA's Dana "Paramilitary" Loesch and her sinister, truth-indifferent "debate" techniques that so spectacularly failed at CNN’s Town Hall last week when she tried to use them against Parkland school shooting survivor Emma González.

With this film, the Yes Men wish to join the students of Stoneman Douglas (and many others before them) in calling B.S. on the NRA’s very existence. Please support them, and the nationwide #NeverAgain movement:


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By Andy Bichlbaum on Feb 2 2018 - 3:52pm Tagged: Project: Somos El Muro (We Are the Wall)


#SomosElMuro is a satire created by a group of artists and activists from Mexico, Central America and the United States to make visible the xenophobia and discrimination faced daily by Central American migrants and refugees in Mexico. Launched in January 2018, #Somoselmuro presents a group of ultra-right, pro-Trump’s wall Mexicans who propose to turn Mexico into a giant human border. The video and the song ask, “What part of the wall are you?” and remind you that “By doing nothing, you’re also part of the wall.

The thousands of migrants who cross or seek refuge in Mexico each year are not criminals. On the contrary, they flee from conditions of extreme violence and poverty that have been systematized by to corrupt governments and neoliberal policies, which in turn feed the power and reach of organized crime.

They flee from one nightmare and encounter another. Instead of finding free transit and humanity, they are faced with rape, extortion, robbery, kidnapping, assault and demonization by local authorities, the National Institute of Migration, the police and military, as well as drug cartels specialized in human trafficking. It is extremely alarming that 80% of women who cross into Mexico are raped and thousands of migrant girls and boys are detained by the authorities despite the laws prohibiting it.

To denounce the system that dehumanizes migrants in Mexico, which profits from its mobility condition and uses euphemisms to obfuscate the violence inflicted, this group of artists and activists also created the satirical project “Migratón“: a Telethon for the migratory industry that launched on December 18, International Migrants Day. The Migratón website is a minefield of information, with links to reports on human rights abuses, articles on the root causes of Central American migration, and news that highlight the violence and exploitation they suffer in Mexico.

Violence’s best ally is ignorance. A large percentage of the population is not aware of the conditions migrants face in Mexico, and another large percentage does not want to be. Ignoring something does not make it disappear. Our silence another brick in the wall.

Many people on social networks—believing that these satirical projects are real—have been outraged and raised their voices in defense of the migrants. Thank you for criticizing, contributing, and speaking out.

We invite you to join the dialogue, get informed and take action.

Contribute to the Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano and the Caravana de Madres
Ask the government to stop deporting refugees
Collaborate with the Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías
Support the Casa del Migrante Saltillo
Volunteer with FM4PASO Libre
Join forces with La 72 en Tenosique
Volunteer with Sin Fronteras
Foster the work of the Red de Casas Scalabrinianas
Collaborate with the Albergue de Migrantes Hermanos en el Camino

Check out the interview (in Spanish) with “Gloria Vallarta de Valle de Bravo” from #SomosElMuro (Ana Francis Mor from Las Reinas Chulas) in EL ALMOHADAZO, aired on February 12, 2018:

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By Andy Bichlbaum on Oct 4 2017 - 5:29pm Tagged: Project: RefuGreenErgy

October 5, 2017

Bicycle Hoax Highlights Soulless Cycle
Belgian collective, in cahoots with refugee groups and the Yes Lab, hits hard at European policy towards refugees, false market solutions, assholes

Reveal video here (with English subtitles)
Photos and posters here
Hoax website, promotional video, Facebook, Twitter
Contact: Hélène Collin or Alexandre Dewez,

Hundreds of spectators witnessed a bizarre spectacle Saturday, when a slick new tech startup called RefuGreenErgy held a three-hour launch event in central Brussels. The event featured four "RefuGreens" (actual refugees) happily pedaling battery-filling bikes while "company representatives" (actually activists) described to tourists and others how the refugees were producing "green" electricity they could buy; the refugees, in exchange, would get 24-hour periods of amnesty and 1.60 euros per day. "It's a guilt-free way to help others," explained one representative.

Reactions ranged from quiet approval to horror. The hoax was finally exposed when, after two "company officials" explained the concept to an assembled crowd, a member of the public, a man who works with refugees, spoke up emotionally against the concept, and the "officials" admitted it was a hoax. (See footage here.) At that point, Saïd Elouizi, a member of Brussels collective Voix des Sans-Papiers (Voice of the Undocumented), spoke of the importance of taking action as citizens: "We need to react to every speech and act, and not remain passive consumers.... Solidarity is our power."

The hoax, by WAAR (We Are All Refugees, a group of "artivists" from Belgium and abroad, working in cahoots with refugee groups and the Yes Men) was carried out in the capital city of Europe in part because refugees are constantly threatened, deported, and locked up by many European states, including Belgium. One Belgian politician, Theo Francken, has even brought agents from Sudan—whose president is under an international arrest warrant—to identify Sudanese refugees so that they can be deported back to the danger they fled.

The hoax was designed to call attention to the moral responsibility of countries like Belgium for the so-called "refugee crisis." 

“There are increasing numbers of climate refugees—perhaps 250 million by 2050," said WAAR member Zelda, referring to a United Nations report. "Climate change is caused by the industrial countries, and they bear responsibility for it."

"If we want to look at deeper causes of the wars and violence that force refugees to flee, it's not a big stretch to see our colonial history as a root cause," said WAAR member Hélène.

Another WAAR member noted that European colonial history continues as companies cause large-scale conflicts that force citizens to flee, as in the case of Areva in Mali.

"Our objective was to highlight the logic by which capitalism deals with and takes advantage of crises—even those that it's caused," the activist explained. "Faced with the ecological crisis of climate change, many companies respond with solutions that serve the objective of profit, without having any concrete effect on the problem itself. A horrible idea like RefuGreenErgy is sadly plausible, thanks to the 'Uberization' of society, ‘greenwashing,’ and the utopian view that the unregulated market can fix the world."

The hoax has so far received coverage in several Belgian media outlets. WAAR also launched a website, a promotional video, and Facebook and Twitter accounts. The hoax was developed during a week-long workshop with The Yes Lab at La Fabrique de Théâtre as part of the Brussels SIGNAL festival, and was carried out with the participation of refugee-activists from several organizations.

WAAR requests that you:

  • Support collectives and organizations that help the undocumented in their quest for work and legal status.
  • Support airplane passengers who oppose the deportation of refugees by air, who are now being prosecuted by the Belgian justice system.
  • If you are in Belgium, welcome a refugee from Maximilian Park (Brussels) into your home to allow him/her to rest, and to protect him/her from police raids.
  • Visit asylum seekers in Belgian refugee centers.

Media contacts:
Hélène Collin, +32 474 99 31 33
Alexandre Dewez, +32 498 33 88 62

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