If you’ve been following the anti-Internet regulation hubbub, as well as Anonymous’ hijinks, then you’ve undoubtedly noticed the masks many protesters have been wearing, exactly like the lead image suggests.
While these masks have become incredibly popular because of these protests, and because Anonymous has adopted them as their logo, for those who may not know, the masks were first made popular by Alan Moore and his V for Vendetta comic series. Inspired by the story of Guy Fawkes, the protagonist in “V” also dons the Guy Fawkes mask as part of his ensemble.
Because of the resurgence in popularity of the masks, the BBC asked Moore to discuss his viewpoint on the use of these masks. Considering his rebellious nature against the establishment, it’s not surprising to see Moore supports seeing the masks he introduced to the public used in such a manner:
After that, it wasn’t long before the character’s enigmatic Time-Warner trademarked leer appeared masking the faces of Anonymous protesters barracking Scientologists halfway down Tottenham Court Road.
Shortly thereafter it began manifesting at anti-globalisation demonstrations, anti-capitalist protests, concerted hacker-attacks upon those perceived as enabling state oppression, and finally on the front steps of St Paul’s…
It also seems that our character’s charismatic grin has provided a ready-made identity for these highly motivated protesters, one embodying resonances of anarchy, romance, and theatre that are clearly well-suited to contemporary activism, from Madrid’s Indignados to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Moore also comments on the protests themselves, approving of the nature of these citizens who are eager to speak out against various government positions, and it’s clear he embraces the public’s backlash towards their respective governments:
Today’s response to similar oppressions seems to be one that is intelligent, constantly evolving and considerably more humane, and yet our character’s borrowed Catholic revolutionary visage and his incongruously Puritan apparel are perhaps a reminder that unjust institutions may always be haunted by volatile 17th century spectres, even if today’s uprisings are fuelled more by social networks than by gunpowder.
Some ghosts never go away.
Considering the protests that are scheduled to go on all over Europe on Saturday, expect Moore’s pride in these protesters to grow even further, as masked citizens take the streets to speak out against ACTA, all while securing a modicum of personal privacy.