November 5th marks the most hallowed of days to the hacktivist group Anonymous. It was the day of a failed plot to blow up British Parliament in 1605 by Guy Fawkes. Fawkes was arrested guarding the explosives there were supposed to be used on the 5th of November, 1605, and ever since, people that stand up for the rights of the citizens, such as Anonymous, engage physically and digitally in protests as they ‘remember, remember the 5th of November.”
Guy Fawkes Day is representative on many levels to Anonymous, and the mask that millions of individuals wear during the marches and protests are considered Guy Fawkes masks. These were brought to the cultural limelight in the movie V for Vendetta as well the comic book it was originally based on, which garnered more recognition after the movie’s theatrical release.
The digitally oriented protests began earlier in the week, when sects of Anonymous took down several news organizations in Singapore and the Philippines. Anonymous claims that these countries and organizations have failed to provide their citizens with options or a voice in matters directly concerning the condition of their lives. The Messiah, a hacker that claims association with the Anonymous movement, has stated that they are directly responsible for the siege of the Ang Mo Kio Town Council which is a direct message to the Prime Minister and government of Singapore. It is somewhat odd though for someone associated with Anonymous to take individual credit for an action. Typically, the strength of Anonymous lies, as the name clearly implies, within anonymity. Not having a vertical hierarchical structure is something that greatly helps protect the group making it very difficult for the powers that wish to control their actions to bit off the proverbial head disrupting the overall brains and function of the group. Having defined leadership is what brought down a similar group called Lulz Sec. One of their primary leaders was discovered and began to flip on everyone below him. Anonymous has tried to avoid this by existing completely horizontally, so The Messiah self-definition and claim of action does not match up with Anonymous protocol whatsoever. But nevertheless, Singapore’s corruption and mistreatment of its citizens is indeed well known, and it is about the greater good in all respects that Anonymous is concerned with.
As far as the physical protests went, Anonymous was joined by well-known supporters from around the globe, most notably Russell Brand. Brand has become almost a neo spokesperson for the revolution of the mind and freedom we all inherently possess and deserve. His intelligent dialogue that he has brought forth on the subject of self-expression, consciousness, and the overall understanding of the current state of the physical world are not only revolutionary, but crucially essential to the survival of intelligence in our current state of global affairs. While most of the powers that be want each and every citizen to know less and less about what is going in the world around them, Brand and important groups like Anonymous are attempting to preserve what is like to actually be a human being. Censorship and everything a government does to strip away basic rights, especially the rights allegedly promised to citizens in founding documents of nations, must be thwarted lest citizens will be completely without an identity. And without an identity as something separate from those who lust after control, there is simply no beauty or justice left. That is what Anonymous fights for.
Written by Michael Blain