The following is a transcript of the announcement made on June 13, 2013 outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. See photos below, and videos of announcement and questions.
Thank you for coming. The U.S. Chamber wishes to make an official announcement.
Two years ago, we sued a group of profit-mad fraudsters for making a false speech on our behalf. These amoral charlatans forced the world to think we were dropping our opposition to climate change legislation.
This was very annoying, and contributed two weeks later to us dropping our opposition to climate change legislation. We were so mad that we sued them.
Now, four years later, we were finally going to get these guys in court. That's why we've decided to drop this case.
We still very much oppose the Yes Men and their band of tree-hugging, carbon-fearing, man-coddling hippies. But for reasons we do not wish to discuss, and to preserve our total transparency, we are stopping our action against them.
Because we're the good guys, we are hereby giving these appalling eco-queers a chance to speak.
ANDY FROM THE YES MEN:
Thank you thank you thank you.
As Eric Holencolon said, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is withdrawing their lawsuit against us just as it was about to start heading to trial.
This is a great victory for us, but we are also very sad about it. We’re suffering from lawsuit withdrawal.
After all, this was the first and only time in 17 years of Yes Mennery that anyone has been muttonheaded enough to sue us.
If this lawsuit had gone to trial, we would have had the right to do our own investigation. With the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Davis Wright Tremaine, who provided fantastic legal assistance throughout this case, we would have been able to look into the U.S. Chamber’s finances, and to learn how they manage to be the most heavily funded lobbying organization in the world, with $400K /day to support corporate rule without limits.
Some of the things we could have asked in court had they not withdrawn their lawsuit:
- Why does the U.S. Chamber lie even more than the American Petroleum Institute about the number of jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline?
- Why did the U.S. Chamber design a teaching program for US schools that favors coal over clean energy sources?
- And who pays them to lie to children... and adults?
- Why does the U.S. Chamber expend so much money to call into doubt the most mainstream climate science, and insult the most respected scientific bodies?
- Why does the U.S. Chamber fight not only unions, but even just shareholder activists?
- Why do they fight even tiny increases in the federal minimum wage?
- Why has the U.S. Chamber's law firm hired spies in try to discredit anti-Chamber activists?
- And finally, why is the U.S. Chamber fighting so hard to keep corporations from having to reveal their political spending?
It was flattering that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce changed its position two weeks after our little event. But by dropping this lawsuit, the U.S. Chamber has deprived US of an opportunity to challenge everything that they stand for.
We are therefore considering suing the U.S. Chamber.
For the sources for each of our claims just now, please visit theyesmen.org/project/chamber/lawsuitwithdrawalpressconference
We finally have business cards, but they're not ours. To reach us, please email email@example.com.
By the way, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is offering us all lunch. If you want a free lunch, go up these steps at 11:30am and sign up. You'll have to listen to their conference on how big business can measure the impact of government—but lunch is provided! It's the least they can do.
Now we will take any questions.
Questions can be seen here.