"Yes Men" Artist Unveils Fossil Fuel Divestment at Reed College in Commencement Prank

May 20, 2014
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In a commencement address at Reed College in Oregon, speaker Igor Vamos announced the school’s decision to join a growing movement to divest from fossil fuels.

Igor Vamos: "I was very pleased to learn that the board of trustees of Reed College has just now decided to divest the school’s $500 million endowment from fossil fuels! ... But what they’re doing with the money is what’s most interesting: They’re pulling the money from those industries, and they’re re-investing it in community-owned, renewable energy projects."

The announcement received a standing ovation. The only catch is that Reed College has not actually divested from fossil fuels. The speaker, Reed alumni Igor Vamos, also known as Mike Bonanno, is a member of the culture jamming activist group The Yes Men, who was carrying out his latest political prank. The ruse involved a fake website and press release which fooled at least one news outlet. In a real statement, Reed College said its trustees are reviewing the student call for divestment.