Wearing V For Vendetta Guy Fawkes Masks Declared Illegal In Dubai

from the self-defeating-actions dept

The evolution of the V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes mask from a clever element in a comic book and film to a meme and a global symbol of online and offline resistance has been quite remarkable. A highlight of that trend was earlier this year when MPs in the Polish parliament donned the masks in protest against ACTA, spurred on by massive street demonstrations against the treaty that had recently been held across Poland.

But if the mask has become a way of empowering and uniting protesters, aligning them with other movements around the world, it also becomes an obvious badge of dissent and rebellion, marking them out as a likely enemy of established power structures. It was thus probably only a matter of time before simply wearing a Guy Fawkes mask became grounds enough for the police to move in, as here:

Police officials in Dubai have warned against wearing a mask that symbolises opposition to state authority during any celebrations connected to National Day and declared it illegal.

Any person found wearing Guy Fawkes masks, also known as "Vendetta masks", risks police questioning as any object or action deemed to be instigating unrest or insulting the UAE is illegal, police officials said.
Of course, this simply strengthens the credentials of anyone wearing such a mask, whether in Dubai or elsewhere. And that, in turn, will encourage others around the world to adopt it as a symbol of protest, probably prompting more governments to declare it as "illegal", which will boost its iconic power yet further.

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  1. identicon
    loudifier, 28 Nov 2012 @ 1:14pm

    Is anyone else reminded of Shadow of the Hegemon?

    In Shadow of the Hegemon, part of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game universe, a girl named Virlomi convinces villagers to block roads used by military occupiers with piles of stones. The stones become a symbol of resistance, and anyone caught holding a stone of any size is instantly a rebel. In the book, it leads to a full-scale rebellion.

    This situation with the Guy Fawkes masks reminds me of that. An overbearing government takes something simple and harmless, and turns it into the symbol of a revolution.

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