‘Anonymous to wake up US citizens’
RT:Maybe it's not quite a million mask march, but it certainly is massive. Does the turnout surprise you?
Ray McGovern: Well, it did surprise me because I had great difficulty getting here. I've never seen so many policemen and so many police cars in Washington since I don't know when. So I'm lucky to be here on time. It is very interesting, the widespread coordination of this, not only Washington, not only London, but Manila, Brussels, Rome, San Francisco. One of the signs in San Francisco, I think, speaks volumes - it said “We are the 99 percent. Until you wake up - that is until the one percent wake up and the others of populace in the US are still sort of asleep - we will fight for you.” And so there is this kind of awakening here. And I was thinking of Tahrir square, thinking about Arab Spring and Asmaa Mahfouz, the young lady who led that protest. I was thinking that maybe this group, maybe Anonymous, maybe the people who are associated here will turn out to be our Asmaa Mahfouz.
RT:Do you think that taking to the streets a few times a year and briefly bringing down government and corporate websites can change the world?
RM: Well as Margaret Mead said, the only thing that has ever changed anything is a small group of very dedicated people. Now the world needs to be changed. How it happens is something beyond our ken. But when I see young people who are clearly dissatisfied with mass surveillance, with austerity, with the fact that the rich people are getting still richer and the elections are being bought – that is a good sign. And whether it takes a small group or a larger group – it is a hopeful sign that people are dissatisfied enough to wake up their relatives, their friends, their neighbors and say “Look, until you wake up, we're going to fight for you.”
RT:Where do you see the Anonymous movement going from here?
RM: I think the important part of Anonymous is that they are mostly young, and they are highly technically skilled. Governments in the world cannot function without highly technically skilled people - witness Edward Snowden. Now that being the case, each government is going to have people who have not only highly technical skills but also have a conscience. Care about the other 99 percent, as we say in this country, care about people who are being deprived of their rights in Palestine of their very existence. Palestine too was voiced in some of these demonstrations. There is a worldwide way to connect people now and these young people – bless them – are doing that connection.
San Francisco Million Mask March now at Justin Herman Plaza. JOIN US! pic.twitter.com/snvHhdS47B
— John Harvey (@digitallywired) November 5, 2014
RT:With the revelations by Edward Snowden we have seen how the state can spy on us… How do you then with a group like Anonymous make sure that it does not continue to get out of hand with a group saying “We're all for the people” and on the other side spy agencies are saying “We want some of that information too”? How do we keep the playing field clear of that and in focus on what the main idea is?
RM: Well the good news in my view - as a non-technical person - is that technology is available to everyone. Are we being snooped on, are we being eavesdropped on? Of course we are. Is it against our constitution? Yes, it is against our constitution. But there are ways to encipher your communications and there are ways used by highly technical people like Anonymous to defeat surveillance or to counter-surveil and cause mischief, not all of which I endorse, but cause real concern and mischief and give more work to the increased number of people. We have surveying, we have patrolling, and now we are putting up barricades to prevent Anonymous from getting to the US capital.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.