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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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Lord Binky, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Being that 'ANY object or action deemed to be instagting unrest or insulting the UAE is illegal', this isn't specifically a rule for just this mask but just pointing out their blanket rule covers this specific item.

    This same rule could be applied to one of those colored rubber wrist bands. This is business as usual for the UAE and fully in line with how their government has presented itself.

     

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  2.  
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    gorehound (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    Yup..........So now we imagine what happens when you both wear a Guy Fawkes Mask and you are a Female.
    Does that mean you will have to go to the Islam Re-Education Camp for Women.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    hmmmm, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:39am

    #### DA POLICE!....in dubai.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    so women wearing berkas or other forms of veil is fine, but anyone wearing a Guy Fawkes mask is basically an instant suspect of wrong doing? sounds about right. also sounds as if Fascism is alive and well in more countries than we gave it credit for. i wonder why it was so bad then but seems as if it is being adopted in so many places now? exactly what is/are the differences between the two now or is it just that those in power today think that it's different because they are the ones dishing it out rather than being on the receiving end?

     

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  5.  
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    Violated (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Masks of Mayhem

    I can only think parents need to let this kids loose in Dubai wearing these Guy Fawkes "V for Vendetta" masks. Would police really arrest a group of kids with no political motivation beyond enjoying wearing a mask?

    The ironic part of all this is that political protesters can easily pick another mask to wear while running rampant with their anarchy. It is true that people enjoy the mask and see it as a symbol of anti-Government protests but of course the mask is not reflective of the person behind it.

    They seem to overlook that our history is filled with masks, when a person simply wants to be someone else or unknown for the evening, from the state ballroom to the darkest back alleys.

     

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  6.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re:

    Achmed the Dead Terrorist: It means... I kill you.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I KEEEEEEEL U

     

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  8.  
    icon
    Forest_GS (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    I wonder what would happen if all the large country leaders disappeared at the exact same time o.o

     

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  9.  
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    Forest_GS (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Re: Masks of Mayhem

    Humans are born actors.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    How long before such rules get people to try to use the techniques of Guy Fawkes, that is cause a loud noise under the politicians.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Lord Binky, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Masks of Mayhem

    It's really a reasonable warning for the laws they have in place. They said it is risky to wear the mask in celebrations connected to their National Day because the intent behind the wearing it at that specific time is going to be hard to defend as not purposely insulting their government or instigating unrest.

    This isn't talking about halloween, this isn't talking about a costume party, this is pointing out that during celebrations of their government wearing this mask because of what it symbolizes will directly violate their law with little room for innocent poor timing if that's even possible.

    They have this power year round for any mask, any object, or any actions that they determine insults the UAE or instigates unrest. Of course any mask could work for a protestor, but all their choices are equally illegal because of the intent and how general their law is.

     

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  12.  
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    Dirk Poot (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Time to roll out the V for Vendetta Burka's then.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Jim, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Wasn't this the State's exact response to the masks in "V" ?

    Wasn't the next step in the story total anarchy in the UK?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Julius, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:05pm

    Lord Binky, it's not about warning, it's about the fact they have to warn about something like that.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Masks of Mayhem

    At one point they'll have to outlaw clothing because all protestors wear some degree of clothing. If this occurs in the Middle East watch their heads implode from the contradiction.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    They were arresting people for doing this in Kentucky. Right here in the USA. They pulled out old laws still on the books from the days of the KKK and used them on Occupy Louisville protesters.

     

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  17.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Masks of Mayhem

    > The ironic part of all this is that
    > political protesters can easily pick
    > another mask to wear while running
    > rampant with their anarcy.

    The UAE is a monarchy, which is basically a nicer-sounding euphemism for dictatorship. I'm not sure why everyone is surprised when a dictator dictates.

    However, to your point about protesters just finding another mask, I'll point out that in our supposedly enlightened non-dicatatorship constitutional republic, here in the USA, at least one state-- North Carolina-- has outlawed *all* masks.

    It's illegal to obscure your face in public in North Carolina with anything. No Fawkes masks, no masks of any kind are allowed. The statute makes an exception for bona fide religious practices and it does not apply during the week in which Halloween falls. Other than that, the cops can (and will) arrest you for wearing a mask in public.

     

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  18.  
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    Violated (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re: Masks of Mayhem

    They seem to have banned open air street theatre then. I think William Shakespeare would be spinning in his grave.

     

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  19.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

    Looking like this is the least of my worries in the UAE, pretty sure they still put my kind to death there.

     

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  20.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 5:00pm

    Re:

    No no first you have to arrange to send the cape, wig, and mask to every person in the country and send the bill to the government.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 7:27pm

    Apparently the police in Dubai don't know what "martyr" means, and are anxious to find out by creating a few.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 7:30pm

    Re:

    My friend, you're now a wanted man.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    E G Nyquist (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Sadly, no. Unfortunately, you are jailed and imprisoned without due process or regard for your human rights. You could face execution if your actions are deemed sufficiently bad.

     

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  24.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:54pm

    Re:

    I pity the poor woman who wears a Guy Fawkes mask as opposed to a veil.

     

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  25.  
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    Violated (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:07am

    The Future

    I am starting to wonder when Governments will start banning the movie "V for Vendetta" under the theme of it being a terrorist training video.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:07am

    The Future

    I am starting to wonder when Governments will start banning the movie "V for Vendetta" under the theme of it being a terrorist training video.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    loudifier, Nov 28th, 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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  28.  
    identicon
    John Droeger, Dec 20th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    Guy Fawkes masks

    Wearing a mask in public has long been against the law in San Francisco. To my knowledge it's never been enforced.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Guy Fawkes, Feb 20th, 2013 @ 3:13pm

    Guy Fawkes Mask

    In dubai, is forbidden using these masks, even be a mislim country, they allow discos and selling alcohol for turists, this's against Islam, but they do, these rich arabs from dubai, come to london, stay in luxurious hotels, 17 thousand £ a night, in hyde park corner, with prostitutes, champanhe 14% alcohol, french caviar, Rolls Royce cars, and sniffing cocaíne, dirty busters!!!!!!

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Nexus Uniforms, Jun 2nd, 2013 @ 2:31am

    to wear a mask in Dubai not an easy work

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re:

    no it means you get raped and beaten to death

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    lol, Jun 22nd, 2013 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Re: Masks of Mayhem

    Too bad it shouldnt be illegal to wear a mask. Fuck the politicans.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    lol, Jun 22nd, 2013 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Masks of Mayhem

    Too bad it shouldnt be illegal to wear a mask. Fuck the politicans.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Umroh Plus Dubai, Oct 27th, 2013 @ 10:59pm

    re

    Police officials in Dubai have been warned against wearing masks that symbolize opposition to the authorities in each country is connected to the National Day celebrations and declared illegal

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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