By Aaron Kesel
The fifth of November only happens once a year, quickly approaching, activists who associate themselves with the decentralized leaderless Anonymous collective are beginning to organize together for rallies across the world. So grab a sign, print out your paper Guy Fawkes mask, (provided for convenience in this article) and get ready to remember the fifth of November.
This year activists from all over the world plan to partake in the march highlighting human rights abuses, the rise of the surveillance state, the dangers of losing our internet and our ever decreasing freedom of speech and press.
Specifically, Anonymous has vowed to at least in part dedicate its march to WikiLeaks Founder journalist Julian Assange, who faces a trial for extradition to the United States early next year. If extradited Assange will face up to 175 years in prison for simply publishing information that was in the public’s best interest, charged under the Espionage Act for his publishing of the Iraq/Afghanistan war logs and Cablegate publications — something that many journalists, activists and lawyers agree will set a precedent for journalism as a whole. CandlesForAssange, a movement of activists in support of the WikiLeaks publisher, are hosting Anonymous’ Million Mask March locations on its own website, urging protesters to print out a paper Assange mask and hold it up on a stick while protesting.
Besides Assange, imprisoned whistleblowers U.S. Army analyst Chelsea Manning, and NSA whistleblower Reality Winner will be honored with signs on the streets.
November 5th is also seen as a day to remember those within the collective who have been incarcerated and charged with the “Computer Fraud and Abuse Act” for their actions like Jeremy Hammond, or passed on like Aaron Swartz or the brother Tayyeb Shehadah, who was shot for protesting in Palestine by an Israeli sniper (mask seen below).
Others will be celebrating the release of whistleblower and former alleged hacktivist Matt DeHart, a brother known to many widely throughout the collective, and his mother Leann DeHart, finally being able to share a hug after years of strife.
Anonymous is also planning to highlight the rise of internet legislation that seeks to use copyright as a means to censor independent, creative and dissenting voices online. It’s an effort that activists from Anonymous Bites Back (ABB) have been spear heading the fight for, since last year against the likes of ACTA2, a copyright directive in Europe and U.S. net neutrality.
Although it’s worth noting that there are no specific goals for the march or collective, there is, however, an overarching desire within shared by many to combat censorship, promote freedom of speech, and counter government control within the collective. Anti-oppression and supporting whistleblowers seems to be something most can also agree on.
Anonymous actions have been taken against Sony, HB Gary, Aaron Barr, Operation Payback, and protests against organizations like Westboro Baptist, Church Of Scientology, and various governments worldwide including Iran, Egypt, Australia, and Ireland to name a few of those targeted in early Ops.
The collective utilizes a number of techniques such as digital web sit-ins (DoS attacks) with LOIC (sending HTTP header requests to sites), “rudimentary exploits”, d0xing and sometimes the more extreme hacking of a database and leaking of its tables and contents for the Lulz.
After all the ghouls and witches are away for Halloween (October 31st), millions of Anons around the world will meet on November 5th, drawn to Guy Fawkes, revolution, change, and the gunpowder plot, to make their presence known to world governments.
Those who support the Anonymous idea, Discordianism, anarchy, fighting against government oppression, encryption, hacking, human rights, various activist causes for our animal friends and otherwise, justice and even those who just enjoy the Lulz of a website or database getting pwned by code, will all join together for a single day showcasing global unity, against the elite (the true vampires and goblins of our society.)
In other words, individuals of every race, ideological beliefs and social class will meet in streets all over the world to celebrate November 5th and the gunpowder plot which will never be forgotten, mirroring the movie V for Vendetta as a symbol for standing against tyranny.
It is a day that historically has been marked with Anons protesting in the streets since 2011. All in an effort to remind the elite and other interests that “we are still here, we will remain a pain in your ass, and we aren’t going away.” As well as to ask a simple question to governments across the globe: “do you liek mudkipz and lulzboats?”
To paraphrase: “We are legion, we are many, we are the resistance against corrupt governments, and the corruption of this world. You are the disease and we are the antidote.”
Since 2011 after the rise of the Occupy Wall Street, meeting on November 5th has become a tradition for those who have chosen to be apart of the Anon collective idea.
For governments, November 5th and the headless symbol of Anonymous is seen as a form of resistance and dissent throughout the world. Earth’s citizens unite and protest elitist policies, corruption, and in some countries even oppression all in solidarity with each other (brothers and sisters) wearing Guy Fawkes masks to obscure identities and represent unity.
Historically, the feds have tried to discover what they deemed Anonymous’s “shadowy leadership” by spying on Anons at the march with Stingrays, drones and digital monitoring technology to tap conversations, albeit failing to realize its decentralized nature.
In the U.S. the DHS even recently used a modified version of the Anonymous “man without a head” logo in a presentation on surveillance. Ironically, the modified logo was copyrighted and was originally created for an article critical of Pakistan’s mass surveillance, Muckrock reported.
There are no leaders in Anonymous like the feds think; everyone networks and works together for common like-minded causes, be it hunting pedophiles, animal abusers, domestic terrorists or uniting together to stop laws against the Internet like ACTA, ACTA 2, SOPA, PIPA, CISPA and the cleverly named never forgotten CISPA 2.0, or numerous anti-war actions just to name a few of the collective’s operations over the years.
In 2011 the feds seemed to partially figure things out, noting in a DHS bulletin that Anonymous lacked “a centralized leadership structure and distributed (often international) personnel poses a significant hurdle for law enforcement organizations hoping to curb the flow of cyber attacks against organizations.”
Meanwhile, for those who support the idea of Anonymous decentralization, government transparency, and freedom for everyone, the march is seen as a day to meet, trek, network and form ideas with like minds, leaving behind hacktivist deeds that individuals of the collective might (or might not) have taken part in. (You do not talk about fight club; rule 9001 of the Internet – everyone is a fed, don’t brag.)
You don’t have to be a hacker to be Anonymous, Anons have a number of other skills used to support operations within the decentralized leaderless collective such as artwork, video editing, writing PRs, aiding whistleblowers and boots on the ground, the list goes on and on.
Anyone can be Anonymous.
Over the years, Guy Fawkes masks have even been outlawed at protests in some countries like Bahrain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Canada to name just a few. In fact, even in the U.S. a Kentucky lawmaker recently filed a bill to ban masks at protests in the state in 2017.
Year after year the Million Mask March has been a historical event.
But as Anonymous Bites back (ABB) notes, “this year it will not be just Anonymous marching, others will stand with us, together, unleashing a peaceful but powerful scream for freedom.”
Anonymous Bites Back as a media team will be present at many marches around the world, and the group of volunteer activists promise they will attempt to stream most of the events live. If you want to broadcast and need help, feel free to contact @abbliveshow on Twitter.
Want to meet others and perhaps travel together? Many organizers and participants assemble on social media, others are joining a chat server on Discord: Click Here
This Discord server also has a lot of promo material in it, including free printable masks. Do you just want to march and not join any server or social media, printable masks and flyers are also available here: Click Here
However, Anonymous warns of the spread of fake march locations that can either be set up as honeypots or just a waste of your time. One such site which will not be linked to prevent improving its SEO, that should be avoided for information on the marches is actually titled: “millionmaskmarch.com.” The website among a host of other websites is run by a suspected FBI informant who is only known as General Christine Anne Sands, an obvious alias for the fraud despised by the Anonymous collective.
Although, Anonymous states that this year Sand’s website can expect the collective and “will be a heavy target leading up to the marches so that newbies don’t use her map to find a march location.”
The collective also warns:
Even though the Million Mask March is a fully legal and peaceful event, remember to stay safe. Keep your masks on and do not share any private information about yourself with anyone. Online and offline. Sail safe.
It’s also not out of the question to see data drops from hacktivists within the collective to celebrate the occasion.
Participants in the march are reminded that peaceful protest is encouraged.
However, if individuals get violent they do so on their own accord and fully understand the consequences that may ensue for others participating in the Million Mask March in their area, which will likely include tear gas and brutal response from riot cops.
If you are interested in attending and showing your government a civil presence you can find your closest Million Mask March location on Pastebin, by searching Twitter or Fedbook (Facebook) with the terms “million mask march [your city]” or visiting the Million Mask March Locations website (here), which is operated by those in the collective organizing the marches, constantly being updated with more cities global.
(Since there are no official accounts that represent the whole idea of Anonymous as the Cyber Guerrilla Anonymous Collective (CGAN) notes, the march is expected to be vast and wide across the world and this list should be assumed to be incomplete.)