So I gather from the news that Anonymous are back in Trafalgar Square having some sort of anti-capitalist shindig. Whilst the million mask web site suggests it had something to do with freedom of information, communication and against state censorship the people interviewed on the telly box and quite a few of the banners I’ve seen pictures of suggests it was at least about both and every other thing under the sun people felt moved to complain about. Perhaps next year they could call it the “down with that sort of thing” march? But anyway I digress if my some miracle those reporter types have got it right and this march and anonymous generally are actually “anti-capitalist” then a few things strike me as a tad odd. The most obvious one being buying masks produced by cheap Labour thanks to international trade, the profits of which support a firm which pays no tax and receives quite substantial subsidies. Maybe adopting something that involved less cooperation with global capitalism might be an idea? But then again given how much they seem to rely on horrible capitalist organizations (such as Facebook, apple and other low tax companies) to organize their little soirees (not to mention the entire capitalism driven internet) maybe Mr Burnside masks might be more apt. Though all those Nike bags and designer labels do serve to indicate their real views on capitalism rather well.
If though this isn’t an anti-capitalism get together, reporters have been known to get it wrong now and then after all, perhaps it really is against state surveillance and freedom of expression. In which case the place should be riddled with signs calling for less state action and a smaller government perhaps? For less state involvement in how people life their lives and organise themselves? Mind you all those socialist workers banners would make that a bit of a mixed message as well socialism doesn’t exactly have a good track record with not spying on people or letting people just get on with living without state interference.
Oh well at least it was a peaceful protest, ah it wasn’t exactly was it. But it’s ok I’ve been told that in a riot to see the people causing it looks for those dressed for a riot. This though I’m told is not the large numbers of people hiding their identities with masks, who have a track record (continued this year) of setting fire to things and tacking along fireworks (also known as explosives) to peaceful marches. Nope those are all harmless peaceful protesters trying to save all of us. Nope the people dressed for a riot are the ones with visible identification numbers no face coverings and baseball caps on. This is of course a generalization, some of the police as has been shown before are not the fine upstanding fellow we hope them to be and hide their numbers, and given they’re their to “keep the peace” and well as I’ve said the track record isn’t great do need to be prepared for a bit of “enthusiastic demonstration” are wearing protective gear which still leaves their faces quite visible (which has also been demonstrated before). Maybe if Anonymous were as peaceful and in favour of less state interference as they notionally claim some of them could perhaps have stopped their fellow million maskers from setting light to things and throwing bottles and fireworks and the like again? Maybe a few pointers on the various sites saying that such behavior isn’t cool and encouraging marchers to police themselves. After all nothing would show up police heavy handiness more than riot police kettling an entirely peaceful demonstration, maybe they could even hand out flowers? And from experience it’s not as if they’re not adverse to attacking other peaceful protesters who they disagree with.
Ah well maybe next year they’ll have a peaceful protest which makes some sort of sense beyond being an expression of unfocused annoyance, and if they do decide on an actual coherent message and manage a peaceful demo then I think I’ll start going for gentle strolls on November the 5th as I do quite miss them. Oh and if they could get the hang of forgiveness that would be great, as organizations that don’t forgive have a really really bad track record.