Million Mask March: What are Anonymous' demands?

Three men hold onto a light post and signs Image copyright AFP
Image caption Members of Anonymous took to the streets of London in hopes of revolution

Organisers of the 5 November Million Mask March predicted the "largest global protest" in history.

Thousands wearing Guy Fawkes masks gathered in London and Washington DC, joined by similar protests across the globe - from Canada to Guatemala to the Netherlands. Marchers carried placards with sayings such as "One solution, revolution" and "A for anarchy". Most were peaceful - some were not.

What is the Million Mask March?

Promoted by Anonymous, an international group of hacking activists, the march is a protest against corruption in power. It coincides with Bonfire Night in the UK, which commemorates the date Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption On the same night that the British remembered the Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plot, Anonymous called its members to step out of the internet and onto the streets

What are the issues?

Their goal, as stated on a UK Million Mask March Facebook page, is to see positive change in the world.

"We have seen the abuses and malpractice of this government, and governments before it, we have seen the encroaching destruction of many civil liberties we hold dear, we have seen the pushes to make the internet yet another part of the surveillance state, we have seen the government's disregard for migrants, for the poor, the elderly and the Disabled, we have seen the capital, profit and greed of the few put before the well-being of the many and we say enough is enough," the page says.

Image copyright PAUL J. RICHARDS
Image caption Protesters in Washington, DC marched past the White House to the Department of Justice

Why wear masks?

In the 1980s comic strip V for Vendetta, the main character wears a Guy Fawkes mask to battle the fascist state. In 2006, the comic was made into a film and the plastic masks marketed to the public. Two years later, Anonymous published a list of protest instructions, including "Cover your face. This will prevent your identification from videos taken by hostiles, other protesters or security". The Economist explains, taking inspiration from the film, "the V for Vendetta mask provided just the cover that Anonymous needed."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The protest in London started in Trafalgar Square

How did it start?

The first Million Mask March, on 5 November 2013, was a "day of civil disobedience" as Anonymous "step[ped] out of the internet and on to the streets". The annual event follows Million Mask Marches during Occupy Wall Street, protesting against perceived power imbalance in the establishment.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police and protesters clashed in London, resulting in more than 50 arrests

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