Guy Fawkes masks and hacktivists

November 5 is a special day in Britain, but the masks used for the occasion have gotten so popular this year they have become top-selling store items in Western countries. What’s up, que pasa, anyare?

My first reaction was that the mask is a very creepy mask: a man’s pale face with glowing pink cheeks, mustache and goatee, and an unnerving smile that’s almost like a leer. You wonder, “Where have I seen this mask before?” Then you suddenly realize. It’s those Guy Fawkes masks worn by growing ranks of demonstrators in American and European cities and that have come to symbolize Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests.

November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day. But how did his masks find their way into the Occupy Wall Street movement? Welcome to the strange new world of 4chan, hacktivists and anarchist revolutionaries. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Demotix/Corbis

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