17 days a million human beings from all walks of life, and possibly even billions around the world, will stand up, don their ever classy Guy Fawkes masks and descend on Washington DC and other locations around the planet in an event being called the Million Mask March.
The massive peaceful demonstrations are being organized and “a call to masks” is being broadcast from all quarters of the globe by members (who may not be “members”) of an idea known as Anonymous.
Statements from Anonymous are hard to pin on anyone and no official spokesperson could be reached for comment, part of their beauty being the fact that Anonymous is a movement and an idea, without leaders and without a central command structure, as one “Anonymous member” was reminded on the supposed “official” Million Mask March page on Facebook, when another Anon politely reminded the page owner that he can’t claim to be a leader or spokesperson for Anonymous because well, to put it quite simply, there are no leaders and as Anonymous repeats on the web: “All who claim anyone is in charge of Million Mask March knows little of Anonymous. There is no official site, and nobody is in charge: it’s a movement, not an organization.”
Loosely described as a “global hacktivist collective”, Anonymous is reaching out to all of the people (and peoples) of the world, or as Anonymous put it: “… people from all tribes, all religions and from all over the world”, to put on their masks (tuxedos and evening gowns optional) and join in one of over (350 and growing) planned peaceful marches to take place around the world.”
The high-ideals of the event are noble and a call for a fight for the loftiest ideals for all of humankind. One Anonymous forum states the goal of the event as a way: ”To remind this world what it has forgotten, That fairness, justice, and freedom are more than just words”.
Whether the “groups” prediction that it will be the “largest peaceful march in the history of mankind” is yet to be seen, but the call away from secret Anon Ops to a more public show of protest is certainly a move away from the previous modus-operandi of the hactivists.
Strategically it is probably a good move for the group, especially with the way the US Government and other states have attempted to crack down on the group with an iron-fist and the full weight of all their power. Crack downs that have left the group slightly stunned but far from down and which have galvanized the resolve and the will to dissent of many members and fringe supporters of the group.
While the Anon Ops, in the depths of the cyberspace, against the evil empire that is stifling freedom of speech, expression and suffocating humanity, have been effective and ones that have been fought largely in secret, this new more tangible manifestation of the “Knights of the Internet” may be something more problematic for the “authorities”, especially in the United States.
The war that the US has fought against Anonymous has been one that they have waged using all of the secret and overt tools they have at their disposal and has been one they have succeeded at due to the degree they have by demonizing and marginalizing members and even going so far as to brand them as terrorists.
A case in point was a recent petition to US President Barack Obama to equate DDoS attacks to public “sit-ins”, even though a DDoS attack is even more of a benign event. The hope was that the extreme and insanely ridiculous harsh sentences (in the neighborhood of ten years) that DDoS attackers face might be reduced to that of sits-ins (one to three days), but of course Obama did not listen. Perhaps he will listen if a million peaceful Anons are surrounding the White House?
The fear that the US has about anyone who speaks out on the internet or is involved in Hacktivism is understandable as they have attempted to bring the entire planet under their control through the manipulation of, and spying on, the net and having anyone who can stand up to them or is savvy to the ways of cyberspace, is a dangerous thing indeed.
The insanity of the war that is being waged on information activists, Whistleblowers, Hacktivists and Truth-Seekers is clearly evident in the long list of victims of America’s choking grip, as they continue to stifle dissent and extinguish freedom of speech and expression and more importantly hide their illegality and (as we learned from Edward Snowden) spy on and attempt to manipulate the entire planet.
Although the clear goal of the march has not been announced, it is being held no doubt in support of victims of US oppression: such as Aaron Swartz, Julian Assange, Jeremy Hammond, Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, and everyone else who has been trampled on by authoritarian illegal governments while fighting for truth, justice, freedom of speech and the finer attributes that make us the civilized and beautiful creations that we all are. Well most of us.
Anonymous is an inclusive force, so if on the 5th of November (remember, remember) you want to join forces in support of the fight against evil, check on the net for an activity near year, or plan your own. After all we are all Anonymous. Masks are optional.
As the Knights of the Internet say:
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.