Who is Guy Fawkes, why the mask with his face has become a symbol of hackers

(ORDO NEWS) — It is the mask of Guy Fawkes, she is the mask of Anonymous, well known to all Internet users. The mask first appeared in the V for Vendetta comic book, which ran in the UK from 1982 to 1989. Later, in 2006, the mask could be seen in the film of the same name. She began to be considered the main symbol of the group of activists and hackers Anonymous. Who is Guy Fawkes, after whom this popular protest symbol is named?

Name Guy Fawkes

The story of Guy Fawkes did not always have a mask, but nevertheless, the personality of this man is directly related to aggressive protests and defiance of power.

Fox is an English aristocrat who was born on the small estate of an ossified nobleman in York. Perhaps his family adhered to the Catholic faith. Guy Fawkes was a Catholic during the reign of Protestant monarchs who did not support the faith of Rome.

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Interesting to know! Catholicism and Protestantism are different directions of one religion – Christianity. Previously, English society professed only Catholicism, but with the coming to power of Queen Elizabeth I, Protestantism became the state ideology. According to the queen, this was due to the desire of the English crown to free itself from religious dependence on the opinion of the Pope and southern enemies. For many years, the confrontation between supporters of the two directions was the reason for the uprising and civil strife within the country.

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In 1603, the great English Queen Elizabeth I dies, and the rule of the country passes into the hands of the young heir James I. The new king was a Protestant towards the deceased queen. Unlike Elizabeth, he was more tolerant of Catholics. The state of Jacob began persecution against its subjects, including such nobles as Guy Fawkes. And the history of the famous mask, which was found in Moscow, began here.

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A containment situation with England’s old enemy – Spain, whose government was against the infringement of the rights of brothers in faith and did not agree to sign a peace agreement if the persecution of Catholics continued.

Catholics and Protestants

Johann Fox was an English nobleman who was a Catholic and a failure. Apparently, he was just a tool in the hands of others, and it was a tool in his own hands. His personality of a gloomy terrorist, fanned by romance, gave rise to the image of an ideological fighter, which became a symbol.

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And he was born on April 13, 1570 in the city of London, England, into a noble family. At present, almost nothing is known about the hero’s childhood and youth, but historians say that the guy received a good education and did not need money. In addition, Guy Fawkes was a Catholic and this fact played a very important role in his fate.

Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, Catholics in England were not held in high esteem. The kingdom was constantly at war with Catholic Spain, so every Catholic Protestant saw a traitor and a spy. Although the English king James I was a kind, fair monarch, he did not like Catholics.

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At the beginning of the 17th century, the Jesuits were expelled from the Country, and the attitude towards Catholics became even more hostile. Indeed, they were caught more than once in treacherous actions. In some cases, letters from Catholics to the Spanish king were intercepted, in which they asked to be protected from Protestant arbitrariness. It is possible that this correspondence was only a cry from the heart of people who were persecuted and deprived of many rights.

Gunpowder plot

The Criminal Code of 1605 forced the Catholic nobles to unite and begin preparations for an attempt on the life of the monarch or a member of Parliament. Guy Fawkes was among the conspirators. This conspiracy will be called the Powder.

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According to the original idea, the group was supposed to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in order to kill all members of the government and the king, who was supposed to make a speech.

As a result, the plan failed, since Jacob’s supporters were warned by a member of the House, who accidentally learned about the impending attack. When a squad of royal guards broke into the hall where the meetings of the House of Lords were held. Barrels of gunpowder and Guy Fox himself, who was supposed to guard them. In his captivity with the king, he confessed that he was a true Catholic and could not tolerate bullying of his people.

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Fox was taken to prison, where he was tortured. And he confessed to the attempt on the life of the king and named the other conspirators. Over the next week, they were all either caught or killed.

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All participants in the conspiracy were found guilty of an attempt on the life of the king and members of parliament, sentenced to death by quartering. But the court did not commute the sentence, and Guy Fawkes was executed in January 1606 on the gallows. He managed to jump off the scaffold and break his neck. At the same time, the date of the prevented terrorist attack was named the day of salvation and appointed a public holiday in which children dressed up in all the homemade Guy Fawkes costumes.

Undermining the parliament

One of the conspirators, Thomas Percy, rented a house with a basement near the Palace of Westminster, where the House of Lords met. They began to dig an underground passage to the basement of the palace, in the form of a long curved gallery. Some conspirators dug a passage, while others brought gunpowder into the house. The explosion was scheduled for February 1605.

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But at the last moment, plans changed because the parliamentary deputies postponed the meeting with the king indefinitely. This was only to the advantage of the conspirators, because they were catastrophically unable to keep up. And the unexpected postponement of the attack helped better prepare. Catesby accidentally learned that the neighboring house, which belonged to the coal trader Ellen Bryan, was rented out.

There was also a basement here, but it was under the Parliament building! In addition, from the basement of the house, where Guy Fawkes and his colleagues dug a passage to the basement, Bright was separated only by a grate. Friends seized the dwelling of a coal merchant, opened the grate and quickly transferred 36 kegs of gunpowder under the hall of parliament.

Stupid failure

The rebels had a good chance to bring the matter to an end. They were framed. According to the participants, the most important issue during the Powder Breakfast was financial. There was a catastrophic lack of money and it was necessary to take in assistants not entirely reliable, but solvent people. Before the final, the Catesby team consisted of 13 people. There is clearly overkill here. In order to do this, you need to be very careful.

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The first newcomer to the team was Francis Tresham. This man, Lord Monteagle, was a Member of Parliament. Temem wrote a letter to his brother asking him to refrain from participating in the meeting with the king. The writing style was strange and full of vague allusions that made it difficult to understand what was written in it. According to Lord Montgil, he was surprised by this letter and immediately showed it to him.

After the earl realized that his power was not working, he decided to use his influence to reschedule the meeting of Parliament. The strange letter was reported to King James, and he agreed that it was an assassination attempt. And in Tresham’s text there are phrases: “they will not see who hurt them” and “they will receive a cruel blow.” And so everyone decided that this was a hint of an explosion.

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On November 5, 1604, Monteagle and Suffolk set about inspecting the cellars beneath the Palace of Westminster. In the basement, they met Guy Fawkes, who was able to get out by inventing some kind of story. However, it soon became clear that the neighbor’s house was rented by Thomas Percy, a Catholic and a well-known troublemaker. That evening, too, a more thorough inspection was carried out and Fox was found again. This time Montagle and Suffolk found barrels of shells and wicks under a pile of coal, firewood, and firewood.

The appearance of the Guy Fawkes mask

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Four centuries after the infamous conspiracy, the Guy Fawkes mask appears in the graphic novel V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd. Guy Fawkes is one of the main characters here.

The film tells about a lone revolutionary living in modern Britain, but with a totalitarian regime. The hero lives in a Guy Fawkes mask, so the reader does not see his face. We don’t know anything about him except that he wants to destroy the existing system through a coup d’état.

Man V saves an innocent girl from the arbitrariness of the police and wins her over to his side, opening his eyes to the injustices that exist in society.

He sacrifices himself in order to carry out his plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament, which will help to overthrow the totalitarian regime.

Is this guy right? Maybe he’s just crazy? Which led to an anarchist solution. I need people to think and consider some really extremist options.

Alan Moore on the protagonist’s personality.

It is no coincidence that the author chose the famous English revolutionary Guy Fawkes, who was wearing a mask, and his mask. It has the same aspirations as those who were the instigator of the Gunpowder Plot. The scene with the blowing up of the building refers us to the original plan of the conspirators. Guy’s prototype is without a mask throughout the film.

A film starring Natalie Portman and actor Hugo Weaving was released in 2006. With the release of the picture, the Guy Fawkes mask gained great popularity in the UK, as well as in many other countries.

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Masks are a symbol of protest

What does the Guy Fawkes mask mean today? Some time after the release of the film, the Guy Fawkes mask became very popular on the Internet. Users have begun using the mask image to protect their right to anonymity.

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“Anonymous” in 2008 took to the streets of Boston against the movement of Scientology, which they considered the preacher of pseudoscience.

In 2009, during protests in the UK over the exposure of government and Prime Minister corruption schemes, people took to the streets of London wearing Guy Fawkes masks.

Occupy Wall Street and Occupy the London Stock Exchange were held in the United States of America and Great Britain. They were directed against the greed of people with legal powers and corruption.

In 2012, the Government of India introduced an Internet censorship law aimed at limiting the legal rights of citizens to express their opinions about certain actions of the authorities. Source: Reuters. People dressed in Guy Fawkes costumes and masks came out to the government building to express their displeasure.

In 2012, similar events could be observed in Hong Kong, Madrid and Ukraine. People took to the streets wearing masks because of the arbitrariness of the highest officials of the states.

Execution of conspirators

This time Guy Fawkes was arrested. Apparently, he hid his name and was called John Johnson. At the first interrogation, the man admitted that he wanted to blow up the king and parliament. Soon the investigation came to the other participants in the conspiracy. The founder of the Gunpowder Plot, Catesby, could not be apprehended. He resisted and was killed in the fight.

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The remaining participants were detained and presented to the court. The investigation was long and every participant in the conspiracy was executed on January 30 and 31, 1606. Sometimes they died for a long time, and sometimes they did not die at all. At that time, the most terrible execution relied on for an attempt on the king. They were executed, but the noose was tightened too slowly for them to die immediately. After that, the unfortunate were removed from the gallows in a semi-conscious state, gutted alive, and then quartered.

And if you believe the legend, then Guy Fawkes was not hard to get off. After a noose was put around his neck on January 31, 1606, he himself jumped from the scaffold and broke his neck. However, the executioner performed other terrible manipulations already on the corpse. But Guy Fawkes is not dead, but remains in British culture. On November 5, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated annually in the capital.

Then fireworks were simply set off on this day, but by the end of the 17th century they began to burn effigies. From straw and rags, figures of Guy Fawkes, the Whore of Babylon, or even the Pope were made. Sometimes, for maximum entertainment, live cats were planted in a stuffed animal, which screamed furiously in the fire. In the future, this barbaric custom was abandoned.

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Today, Guy Fawkes is being burned in the UK, and children go from house to house, sing special songs and beg for sweets and money for Guy. And, of course, all this reminds of Halloween.

The mask is a sign of hackers.

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Many websites of famous companies and government servers were attacked by a group of anonymous hackers who used the image of a Guy Fawkes mask as their sign.

Operations of the hacker group “Anonymous International”:

  • Account for payment for the use of copyright (in particular, for PayPal and MasterCard Visa payment systems);
  • There have been attacks on the WikiLeaks website;
  • Attack on the servers of the Egyptian government.
  • Darknet – hacking sites that distribute child pornography.
  • Suspension of government sites due to the closure of the megaupload site.
  • Unexpected attack on the servers of the European Parliament;
  • Analysis of the shadow financial activities of government organizations in the Russian Federation;
  • Takeover of an Interpol server that leaked military information;
  • An attack on the Vatican server, etc. has been detected.

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Not all grouping methods are supported by the masses, but many defend the desire of anonymous people. With the participation of a criminal group, the authorities of Saudi Arabia imposed a ban on the image of the Guy Fawkes mask. Breaking the ban can be attributed to extremism and punished with a heavy fine or imprisonment.

Guy Fawkes Night in England

After an unsuccessful coup, which was carried out as a result of a conspiracy, November 5 was declared Guy Fawkes Day and Salvation Day. This day is a public holiday, which is celebrated to this day.

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Traditionally, the holiday is celebrated at night and is called “Guy Fawkes Night” or “Bonfire Night”. At night, the townspeople dress up in 17th-century costumes or long dark cloaks and put on a Guy Fawkes mask. On this day, the burning of the effigy of the conspirator is celebrated on the streets, firecrackers, sparklers and fireworks are launched.

An old holiday that was very popular in England before the advent of American Halloween. The aforementioned graphic novel and the motion picture of the same name gave a third wind to this day. It was also popular to get Guy Fawkes tattoos. The meaning of this tattoo is easy to understand – rejection of corruption and government oppression.

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The Guy Fawkes mask in modern popular culture

Copies of the Guy Fawkes mask have been sold online. In sales, she took second place, right after the mask of the Star Wars character Darth Vader. In different parts of the world, people began to consider the mask a symbol of resistance and the struggle for equal rights and use it at rallies and demonstrations.

The masks are used to play board games such as Mafia where a secret play role must be kept.

  • About Guy Fawkes and other conspirators, the series “Gunpowder” was released, consisting of 3 hour-long episodes. The role of Jon Snow in the popular fantasy series Game of Thrones, Kit Harington, has appeared. The role of the main character was played by Welsh actor Tom Cullen.
  • Guy Fawkes also appears in the 2004 film The Corona Plot. The role is played by English actor Michael Fassbender.

The popularity of this phenomenon has gained the name of stuffing a Guy Fawkes tattoo. Guy Fawkes tattoos are stuffed on the body of protesters against corruption and the tightening of the political system.


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