Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Remember, remember the fifth of November... when you were anonymous and free


"Remember, remember the Fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot"

Once upon a time, when there still was an information void and not everyone could be kept under surveillance one man plotted to blow up the British Houses of Parliament. Since then, this "terrorist" has been demonized annually by protestant royalists.

However, in 2006 when the conservative protestants had finished celebrating their victory and total information awareness is finally within reach, the dust was shook of the Guy Fawkes mask and he was instead martyrized in a film by Alan Moore (seriously, download it here, "V for Vendetta" is awesome) as an icon of the true will and action of the man on the street - when he can be Anonymous, that is.

Ok, so as a symbolic action to celebrate this thought I have changed my profile pictures everywhere to the Guy Fawkes mask, and I suggest you do the same, but admittedly, the idea isn't particularly sticky. There are only a reasonably small and non-important things I currently don't feel I can say or do out loud without risking my name, but there are others who are less privileged and in my gut the principle still feels so urgently important. Anonymity is worth protecting, anonymity is for everyone and anonymity is essential for a safe society.

Want to go Anonymous?
PS. I was reminded by a reader that I seem to misuse the word "integrity", because it in Swedish has a use stemming from "personal integrity" which simply doesn't work in English, instead it's "privacy". Thanks for the reminder, I stand corrected.

PPS. Share this with friends as the simpler address tinyurl.com/remember5november

2 comments:

Martin said...

The annual fireworks that has been going for days culminated yesterday here in London.

Culturally, very interesting.

Another thing is how sooo much people carry these poppy flower badges to commemorate people died in wars - remembrance day is 11/11, end of the Great War (as well as my Birthday).

The tradition with flowers is a bit like the Swedish May Flowers but bigger - both the tradition and the actual flowers.

Saaqi said...
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