Sunday, November 6, 2011

How Did Guy Fawkes Become a Symbol of the May 15 Movement around the world?


   ... In the lead-up to today, a Guy Fawkes mask spawned by the 2006 movie “V for Vendetta” has become the accessory of choice at Occupy Wall Street and similar protests around the world.


So who was Guy Fawkes, and how did he become a symbol of protesters more than 400 years after his death?


Guy Fawkes was a Catholic who, spurred by religious persecution, led a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and bring down England’s Protestant monarchy. He was caught, imprisoned in the Tower of London, and tortured for four days under personal orders from King James I.


He refused to name his co-conspirators, but they were caught anyway. The plotters were tried, found guilty and sentenced to death by being hanged, drawn and quartered.


Annual commemorations of the foiled plot began soon after, as reminders to defend England from other traitors, especially disloyal Catholics. Over time they became a day and night of fun and pranks, with bonfires, fireworks and the burning of children’s effigies of Fawkes. Today kids have swapped effigies for Halloween, leaving just Bonfire Night and its fireworks, according to The Guardian.


In Britain in the early 1980s, artist David Lloyd and writer Alan Moore created the graphic novel “V for Vendetta,” about a masked rebel named V who fights a fascist future British government. Lloyd suggested having the rebel wear a Guy Fawkes costume.


“We shouldn’t burn the chap every 5 November but celebrate his attempt to blow up Parliament!” Lloyd wrote in a 1983 essay titled “Behind the Painted Smile.”


This inverted Fawkes’ image — from traitor to hero fighting an unjust state. It also separated it from religion. The movie adaptation of “V for Vendetta” concocted a finale in which a whole movement of discontents wearing Guy Fawkes costumes watch the Houses of Parliament burn.


The Fawkes mask resembles the man only in having dark hair and a moustache. The mask adds the soul patch, rosy cheeks and charismatic-trickster look.


In 2008 the Fawkes mask was appropriated by the hacker group Anonymous as its public face for a protest against Scientology, according to the BBC. Forbes.com has reported that Anonymous has said it would execute a computer attack on the Mexican drug cartel Zetas today, a date picked for its echo of Guy Fawkes Day...
(From  http://abcnews.go.com/)


V for Vendetta - People Should Not Be Afraid of Their Government - Awesome video clips here


From the movie V for Vendetta (2006)

E: Can I ask about what you said on the telly?
V: Yes.
E: Did you mean it?
V: Every word.
E: You really think that blowing up the parliament is going to make this country a better place.
V: There is no certainty only opportunity.
E: I think that you can be pretty certain that if anyone does show up Creedy will black bag every one of them.
V: People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
Evey: And you're going to make that happen by blowing up a building?
V: The building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.
Evey: I wish I could believe that was possible."

3 comments:

mira que luna said...

Congratulations for your great blog.
Ex-student at EOI Embajadores in Madrid.
Carmen Martín

Marita said...

I'm glad you like it. Thanks a lot.

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