The Million Mask March is a worldwide, annual protest associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous occurring annually on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th. The motive for the March varies, but includes some consistent themes prevalent in the Anonymous movement, including: corruption in politics, demilitarization, police violence, and self-governance.
Anonymous, originally a group of internet forum users, first came into political activism from its battle against Scientology, referred to as Project Chanology. This culminated in a world-wide protest outside of Scientology churches across the globe.
The first Million Mask March occurred in 2013. Although the largest events occur in London and Washington, DC, there are smaller scale events across the globe, usually outside of government buildings.
The 2015 protests spanned over 650 cities.
Protesters at the Million Mask March frequently wear versions of the Guy Fawkes mask, in homage to the graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’. The costume references the novel, where the protagonist wages war against an authoritarian dystopia in England. In the film rendition, million of masks are disbursed to citizens who gather around Parliament.
Members of The Freedom Paradox have joined the protests in solidarity for the last several years. Joined by several groups across the area, each year Allentown Pennsylvania becomes the a meeting place for our stand against the city corruption.
It is fitting that the town we meet in is so notorious. Between police lawsuits that make national news and a mayor that has been raided by the FBI, the city of Allentown is a cesspool of corruption and cover-ups. Its like the city's dirty little secret though. The local news hardly mentions it and the local residents have, for the most part put their heads in the sand.
Well not today. We nicknamed our event "The Takeover Of The Monument" and that's exactly what we do. There is a large monument in the center of town that the road even wraps around. Its the perfect location to be seen because quite literally all eyes are facing there. The way the town is designed, this area is the hub of where everything comes into. This location is also the corporate owned part.
We have a special interest in these particular corporate thugs. We helped an elderly man a few years back that was roughed up because of them. On one side we have the billion dollar luxury high rise dubbed STRATA. On the other side of the road the PPL sports arena.
Now to be clear I personally have no issue with a market driven economy but that is not what happened here. The mayor basically sold the center of town at the expense of the citizens. The city taxpayers gave these places all sorts of any kickbacks in exchange for them building there. The taxpayers have not been paid back a cent due to shady tax deals and practices. So now the city residents are on the hook for all these bills and upkeep, for places they don't own or receive benefit for.
To top off the financial aspect, the security for these places act like they can now dictate who is near their businesses. The area has a homeless shelter and also many handicapped from nearby housing for the disabled. The security calls the cops on these locals constantly and even bullies them. Instead of being kind to those that lived there before, the corporate workers have actively engaged in gentrifying the area.
They once again did not disappoint. It was not even time to begin when we had our first encounter with the local security. It was the PPL arena security. The man only identified himself as "Scott, The head of arena security." We are neither weak or slow so we flexed our rights and quickly shut them down causing them to scurry off to call the police. When the cops came they were nice enough. The cop acted like it was a waste of his time and it certainly was. The cop had to respond though so he just came and told us to be play nice basically. My interest was more in the wannabe thug that called them. I quickly called them out on their practices and standing in the community. They asked me to stop filming And my response in front of the cop was "NO. Call the cops". Both the security and the cop quickly left at that point.
The next encounter was with the STRATA security. We had all gathered on the monument with our signs when we hear someone on the other side of the road yelling. Freedom paradox co-founder Matt Taylor was yelling back referring to the sign he was holding. Apparently the STRATA security did not like the contents of one of the signs and were demanding it be placed out of sight. At this point we had all seen what was happening and began yelling back at them "first amendment" and "you cant control the public sidewalks". I even yelled "sorry we are not old men you can bully and body slam."
They quickly ran inside and called the cops. The police took 20 minutes to come out this time. Likely the reason was they were sending a supervisor. The cop that arrived claimed to be in charge of the shift. He told us he recieved a compliant about our megaphone.
Scott Marshall of the Oath Accountability Project has a viral video from the year before, proving the noise ordnance does not apply to a protest. He was the first to speak up and defend his right to use such a device. The officer was playing good cop but not giving us any LAW that we were breaking so Scott stood firm. I even doubled down on our position and told the cop to go ahead and write whatever citation he needs to cause we WILL be using the megaphone. The cop ended up backing down and leaving.
That was our last encounter with uniformed cops. We had several strange incidents of plain clothes people asking us personal questions. One guy even tried to grab Scott's camera at one point. All in all though the day was a success.
The community gave us overwhelming support. We were able to spread the message that we were here and we also encouraged many people to fight. Those are my reasons for going out. I have no delusions about a protest changing policy but its not the officials I am focused on. My goal is to empower the people and remind them they have more say than they think.
If you want to see exclusive 360 Virtual reality video of some of our excitement click HERE
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