Remember remember the fifth of November

November 5th Anonymous demo reignites revolutionary spark.

Wearing Guy Fawkes masks they marched to Trafalgar Square and Parliament two days ago to bring a message to the government: “No longer shall the people be oppressed by corruption”.

Anonymous is an open platform which has been spread around the world during the last few years that is organised “by people for people”. Founded by a few members with a sporadic activist behavior, Anonymous began as a legal protest against the church of Scientology but expanded into a broader protest group whose aim is to stimulate people’s thinking about today’s issues and above all to challenge censorship, promote free information and privacy.

chalk to talk

Chalk For Talk from Antoine E. Saadé on Vimeo.

[/FMP] Walking around Christchurch Road in Boscombe ten days ago it was possible to meet some members quietly drawing on the pavement to promote the 5th of November “Operation Vendetta” and talking about Anonymous’ goals and ideas.

“It’s a legal and peaceful form of protest, just a way to make people think about their rights” they say, ” Anonymous is against everything that is part of a system of control or prevents people from using their brain and any form of corrupt power”.

“Remember remember this 5h of November….” with these words the rhyme begins which celebrates the day in which Guy Fawkes was caught attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament to assassinate the protestant King James I and replace him with a catholic monarch. In the beginning the plot was concocted by the members of a catholic sect which Fawkes was involved in, but when the traitors were convicted and horribly executed, the government invited London people to celebrate the fail of the plot and instituted the Gunpowder plot day as a national commemoration.

Eventually the Gunpowder day became an occasion for people to protest against the government. In Alan Moore’s comic “V for Vendetta” the protagonist is an anarchist vigilante in a futuristic London fighting against a corrupt and dictatorial government.
In 2006 V for Vendetta the movie was released and the mask of V designed by Time Warner became a symbol of the fight against government oppression and inspired the Anonymous members that wear it at every demonstration.

Anonymous claims it doesn’t have any hierarchy, but it has a form of organization that allows its members to get in touch and arrange their demonstrations. The platform has a peaceful code of conduct and anybody can be a member of it this however can create problems. On occasion some hackers claiming to be Anonymous members, have broken into private databases and computers, betraying one of the main ideas Anonymous claim to support: the protection of the private. According to Anonymous site, these invasive hackers and some reports of violence associated with the group are only represent a small minority. Most of the supporters are in fact normal people whose main purpose is to send a positive message in a positive way. Year after year their numbers seem to grow the world over and the presence of almost 20000 activists in Trafalgar Square on Guy Fawkes’s night to protest against social problems and the government is testament to this. The march was peaceful and police handled the situation with ease.

Anonymous’ use of words like “revolution” may be a little strong for some who are put of with this , but the 5th of November could be an opportunity to stop and reflect on issues that afflict our lives.

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