Anonymous launched a worldwide protest of government corruption on Tuesday, in celebration of Guy Fawkes Night. Supporters and members around the world have turned out for the Million Mask March, held in cities like London, Washington DC, Milan, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Sydney, Manila, and Durban, South Africa.
According to a website for the event, there were up to 450 protest locations all over the world. “Remember who your enemies are,” a message on one Facebook event advised, ”billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice.”
In London, an estimated thousand protesters donned the distinctive Guy Fawkesmask and gathered at Trafalgar Square. Chants of “here we come, Tory scum” kicked off the march to Whitehall. Even Russell Brand showed up:
Hundreds of police turned up, eventually kettling the group at Parliament – but not before they shut off all traffic to Westminster Bridge. A group of a few hundred broke away and headed for Buckingham Palace, where they launched fireworks over the gates over a drum’n’bass soundtrack and chants of “Whose palace? Our palace!” and “WAKE HER UP!” (The flag was up, indicating the Queen was in residence.)
In Washington DC, hundreds gathered in front of the US Capitol, with some occupying and blocking off traffic to entire streets. Others marched on the White House, refusing to leave despite threats of arrest.
One protester burnt a flag in front of the White House:
The scenes in London and DC mirror protests all over the world. But don’t expect to see it covered anytime soon in the mainstream press. CNN and Fox News have yet to report on the protests. There is some speculation that today's short-lived hack of the Fox News site was due to angry Anonymous members.
#MillionMaskMarch trended briefly in America and London, and then was dropped for a short period. There were speculations of a media blackout:
As for what Anonymous was protesting, remember that Anonymous is a pretty broad church. (Basically, anyone can join.) The march was organised around a general stance of anti-corruption and anti-corporatism, but that manifested itself in different ways. In DC, protesters marched on the Federal Reserve. In Manchester, Anonymous supporters carried signs against government cuts.
One thing's for sure, though – just don't expect your local news channel to devote much coverage to this any time soon.
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