“Remember, remember – the 5th of November” – Guy Fawkes Day

by on November 5, 2015 · 7 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, History, World News

Guy Fawkes mask

The Anonymous Mask popularized by the film, “V for Vendetta” and the Occupy Wall Street movement was modeled after Guy Fawkes face.

Are you familiar with the John Lennon song, “Remember” where he sings “remember, remember, the 5th of November….”?

I know you’re familiar with the “Anonymous” mask during the Occupy Wall Street” protest movement.

Guy Fawkes

Well, November 5th – still celebrated in film, television and literature – is Guy Fawkes Day!

Who the heck is Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes was one of the leaders in the infamous “Gunpowder Plot” – a plan to blow up the House of Lords in London in 1605.  He was caught, tried and then hung and in England to this day Guy Fawkes’ execution is celebrated.

Yet – you may have seen the movie “V for Vendetta“. The film tells the other side to the story ( “V for Vendetta” – differently. ) The movie points out that Fawkes was not trying to blow up Parliament, but the House of Lords – the seat of autocratic rule and symbol of religious persecution in England at the time. (Remember the Pilgrims? They came to the New World because they were being persecuted for their religion.)

And the Anonymous mask – a mask in the shape of Guy Fawkes face and head – was used as a huge prop in the movie, and then captured and popularized by the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 as a symbol – and were very visible in that nation-wide campaign – even here in San Diego (I still have my mask).

Here’s what wikipedia says about Guy Fawkes:

Guy Fawkes (13 April 157031 January 1606) was a member of a group of English Roman Catholics who attempted to carry out the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I of England, to destroy Protestant rule by killing the Protestant aristocracy, on 5 November 1605.

Mask of Guy Fawkes used for “V for Vendetta” film.

Learn the real story of Guy Fawkes and celebrate the 5th of November for the right reason!

This is a re-write of an article originally posted Oct 30, 2007

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

South OBcean November 5, 2015 at 4:04 pm

So are they celebrating him being executed, or celebrating his anarchism? Because the 6 kids in masks downtown at the playhouse seem confused.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie November 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm

The movie V displayed the “other side” of the story that is accepted in England, where they used to celebrate his execution (just an excuse to party probably) but now, the spin is shifting, and he is seen more as a hero against authoritarianism.

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling November 6, 2015 at 8:45 am

Guy Fawkes is no hero against authoritarianism. He was a soldier trying to restore the rule of Catholic monarchs. It is only in modern times that people have forgotten the real story. Guy Fawkes day revelers burnt Margaret Thatcher in effigy instead of a guy in the eighties. Other than that Guy Fawkes story is religious intolerance not anti-authority.

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling November 6, 2015 at 8:32 am

The English tradition is to burn a ‘Guy’ each year – burning Guy Fawkes in effigy not celebrating him. He was a Catholic who wanted to restore the power of the papacy in England, and destroy parliamentary rule. It is a reworking of history to cast him as something else. V for Vendetta is an interesting movie but doesn’t have much to do with the real story of Guy Fawkes.

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Marc Snelling Marc Snelling November 6, 2015 at 11:07 am

The American tradition for the fifth of November was “Pope’s Day” – burning the pope in effigy. This was big in New England after the Glorious Revolution of 1689. General George Washington forbid his troops from celebrating the holiday in 1775 for fear of alienating French allies with the anti-Catholic sentiment of the occasion.

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Mig October 4, 2016 at 8:58 pm

Marc Snelling, would you mind posting your sources? Also, I am wondering… did you speak to the director or writer of “V”? Where did you draw the conclusion or fact that the movie doesnt have much to do with the story of Guy? Further, dont you think thats what Frank Gormille meant when mentioned “‘the other side’ of the story…”? Lastly, when you say that the celebration is for “religious intolerance, not anti-authority” wouldnt you say that what really matters, is the symbol that it has been given by todays society and that religion at the time WAS essentially an authority figure?

Even though what you are saying is correct I believe the movement is precisely to battle against authority and oppression; whether it be religious rule, authoritive-law, government, interpersonal, and so on. I believe that the whole reason that society has adopted Guy Fawkes as a symbol for todays protests is precisely because he had the guts to stand up against something he was deeply against. That my friend IS inspiration enough for todays society to take action, stand up for them selves and stand against the things that WE as a whole disagree with. In todays world, that something comes in many forms, so isnt it awesome that we can use his idea to apply it to our current oppressions?

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KIP of Voltaire November 6, 2016 at 9:17 pm

robin hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor… one of the great role models of all times. when it comes to violence and killing… that’s not cool even tho I despise trump and hilary, I would not do them harm however, you never know about the crazies in the USofA.

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