‘Nowhere to hide, we're everywhere!’ Global Million Mask March as it happened (VIDEOS)
Protests against mass surveillance, govt austerity and social injustice have taken to the streets in over 400 cities worldwide. Dubbed the Million Mask March, the third annual act of mass civil disobedience was organized by the activist group Anonymous.
United in face and values, hiding behind the stylised Anonymous masks popularized by “V for Vendetta” movie, activists flocked the streets in the UK, China, and the US, just to name a few.
Some of the biggest protests were seen in London where hundreds of activists engaged in a tense and prolonged stand-off with police in and around the Parliament Square. At least ten people were arrested following scuffles on charges of assaulting police officers and different public order offences.
READ MORE:10 arrested as London Million Mask March turns tense
Ahead of the rally, Anonymous, a loose-knit collective that stages politically-motivated cyber-attacks on businesses, government and religious institutions to protect the rights of the people, warned its members of possible police brutality. Meanwhile activists on the ground did their best to stay out of trouble and not provoke any violence.
Yet the prospect of a harsh standoff with authorities did not stop a few thousand from marching through the streets against government corruption, corporate malfeasance and the expanding surveillance state. The mass protest was organized to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, which is celebrated annually in the UK on November 5.
“The internet has the power tobring down regimes. That is what terrifies them. That is why they are now monitor our phone calls, they monitor our emails, and they monitor our free speech. It terrifies them. They have no particular jurisdiction over the internet. It belongs to everyone,” Old Holborn, member of the movement told RT from London.
#MMM#Italy#Rome#MillionMaskMarch#Anonymous#5N#Nov5th Roma and all over the world! pic.twitter.com/qUmyF5LdpR
— Jone Pierantonio (@JonePierantonio) November 5, 2014
San Francisco Million Mask March now at Justin Herman Plaza. JOIN US! pic.twitter.com/snvHhdS47B
— John Harvey (@digitallywired) November 5, 2014
From Sydney to Los Angeles, from Johannesburg to Hong Kong – thousands came forward to make their voices heard. Among key ideas which virtually connected all different protests were anti-capitalist idealism and the rejection of global surveillance by the NSA. Some rallies had a sense of carnival, where whole families with kids marched in protest, while other gatherings – like in London and Washington – turned more intense, with people not hiding their rage.
#MilionMaskMarch Gothenburg Sweden #MMM#Anonymous@AnonNewsSwe@AnonswedenInfo@AnonOpSaudiX2@AnonPir8pic.twitter.com/ofzLVUY9Ie
— DⒶʀKᙡiNɢ (@_Anonymous_swe_) November 5, 2014
Protesters taking part in the Million Mask March in Washington, DC briefly clashed with the police as they tore fences away. Several protesters, many sporting Guy Fawkes masks, were seen being arrested.
“Being in the military you're just a number, you're just a pawn for their game. I respect everyone in, 'cause that's their choice, but it is just a fucking pawn game. It's all for money, oil and greed,” a protester on the streets of DC told RT’s Ruptly.
Even Finland, with a population of just over 5 million, or roughly half the population of London saw masked protesters take to the streets of Helsinki on Wednesday night as part of the global Million Mask March.
The Anonymous citizens of Germany, the economic power of the EU, also had something to say against global governance.
“My message is that we should finally stop being against each other, we should be together again, worldwide. The government and the economy do everything to make us dependant of money and that cannot be the solution. The solution is to do everything together. We could make the world a lot more beautiful when we stop being against each other,” one protester in Berlin said.