Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Growing Mass of Us

Last night I became Anonymous for the first time:

The Growing Mass of Us

Hard to estimate the turnout but certainly over a thousand came to meet on 5 November 2012 in London’s Trafalgar Square with the intent to re-enact the final scene of the movie V for Vendetta

“The country needs more than a building right now – it needs hope”
V for Vendetta

 Anonymous is a group you can be in or out of at any point you choose, there is no membership list and like the Occupy movement, its cause is the many; from freedom on the internet, to anti-war, anti-cuts and a stand against the ugly attack on disability benefits as well as the control of bankers and corporate interests over our governments. 

At the demonstration on Guy Fawkes night talk too was of the currently breaking news about paedophilia; the government, judiciary and BBC are blamed for involvement and silencing of the victims over many decades and an unwillingness to act for those still suffering .

The sea of V for Vendetta masks was an incredible sight – anonymous yet character-full individuals of all backgrounds and for all reasons, gathered together to make themselves heard, make the government aware that they cannot act without witness and that these people are not going to sit back and take it quietly.

To those still not active with Occupy, Anonymous, UK Uncut, unions, environmental, disability and student groups – the country and indeed the world must look like a map of markers of uprisings perhaps seeming unconnected; they aren’t.  I was interviewed earlier in the day and asked what it was everybody was complaining about and the interviewer observed that we “can’t just keep saying things are wrong and not presenting a way to do it right.” My reply was:

“Each uprising large or small, here or somewhere else is essentially the same uprising – we the people no longer find the current system to be fit for the way we would choose to live our lives. From Tahrir Square to Kuwait, Bahrain, Wall Street and London – we the people KNOW what we want; social justice, a fair crack at life for all and not just the 1% with the power and the money.

“The very vast majority of the people in the world would never choose war as a tool of government, would never see poverty, hunger and abuse go uncared for and would never want to inflict misery on another – yet THIS is what our governments tolerate and even facilitate.”

So I went to join Anonymous and it was liberating to be so. The masks have been an almost comforting presence at every Occupy event and occasion and I wanted to support them in return; what I found was much more. 

Again I found myself surrounded by strangers as I did with Occupy the London Stock Exchange and againI found myself in familiar company. Whether it has been with the wise ones of Occupy London’s working groups on economy and environment , the creative and daring team behind the Occupied Times, the individuals enduring unbearable lives, the honourable and brave disability groups or the countless others with every personal reason or none – I found determination, guts and honour that commanded my respect more than any other.

Do any of these actions change anything?
Yes. They changed me and they changed the person next to me and others that listened. They change onlookers and viewers, they empower individuals and those individuals – connect across the world at a level not dictated by our politics, religion, location, wealth or status. We are united in our anger at the way things are and in a society disconnected – this changes everything.

Alan Moore who created V for Vendetta, released his first song “The Decline of EnglishMurder” on Occupation Records to coincide with the march.  This line is one that resonates with the truth of a society divided, cut, separated from its own humanity:

And the scabby grey anti-climb paint and withdrawn amenities
 ~ In case socialising promotes anti-social behaviour”

I find myself amidst a society re-shuffle where instead of gathering under our usual labels of job, gender, religion, politics and location – we are gathering a new kind of mass made up of otherwise unrelated individuals united by our determination to find a better way; not just for one group, party or type but for all.

Tina Louise

The Growing Mass of Us

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