Who are Anonymous? This remains a tricky question to answer, on par with complex concepts such as declaring war on terror. The architects behind this ‘loosely organised’ group of international activists continue to take no prisoners, much like the ‘War on Terror’ did. Identifying Anonymous is perhaps not as effective a use of time as understanding them. To some they may seem like cyber yobs tinkering with the rest of the world, to cause random havoc. However, there is reason behind this havoc and the group should not be dismissed as simply another collection of troublemakers. They are digitally nimble.
Anonymous were described as one of the most influential people by TIME in 2012. A faceless organisation, which most probably has the capability to not only shut down my computer at this present moment but also bring down the likes of the Vatican, billionaire entertainment moguls such as Sony and iconic pillars of homeland security like the FBI and CIA.
The Anonymous UK presence increased tenfold at the Million Mask March in November 2014. The likes of Russell Brand and Vivienne Westwood joined thousands across the capital as they marched against austerity, human rights infringement and mass surveillance. Anonymous raise an important question: how much do we really know about what goes on? Consider this; let us not publicise the ten arrests that were made that night, let us examine why the march took place and instead perhaps look at the reasons behind a public mass heaving around the city.
This is what the documentary A Million Men aims to show. Having had over 100,000 views on You Tube, this documentary aims to give an insight into this mysterious march.
Education is key. In the Quran,109. Surah Al-Kafirun (The Unbelievers) it states: ‘I do not worship what you worship … for you is your religion, and for me is my religion’. This sort of phrase is rarely quoted from the ancient text; the zealots never mention there being even a section about Unbelievers in the Quran. Similarly, with the Million Mask March it seems the demonstrators’ masks are mentioned far more than why they are masked in the first place.
The march represents a series of feelings; from those joining perhaps because they are attracted to the sense of hip political braggadocio, to those who genuinely believe issues such as states spying on their citizens is a cause for discussion. A Million Men captures a global moment that has become a growing movement to protest against anti-cyber censorship and surveillance, and to march towards a positive change.
A Million Men had a film crew consisting entirely of under-25 year-olds. This documentary shows a generation, often chastised for becoming saturated with technology, use that the same technology to capture an unconventional political event and in turn document a gathering of anonymous citizens who wish to exercise their rights as political activists. Specifically, to march against such concerns as corruption and austerity, that ring true worldwide.
It leads us to believe that there are still some amongst us that are alert and engaged with the landscape we live in. That there are those who are willing to focus on matters that a lot of us choose to place aside whilst we, busy ourselves with the daily occurrences in our somewhat desensitised, autopilot lives.