Predicting it to be the "largest peaceful march in the history of mankind" Anonymous' Million Mask March is fixed for 5 November in over 150 locations worldwide.

Anonymous Million Mask March
Anonymous is calling on all supporters to take to the streets on Guy Fawkes Night to show their support. (Screengrab: YouTube)

Over the weekend the global hacktivist collective known as Anonymous launched a promotional video for the Million Mask March calling on supporters from "all countries, all tribes, all religions and from all over the world" to join one of the more than 150 marches taking place on 5 November.

The goal of the Million Mask March is a little unclear but includes the lofty goals of ending war, lies, death and corporate greed.

The video uses images of some high-profile figures who Anonymous says have sacrificed their freedom for the 'cause', such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning), Barrett Brown and Jeremy Hammond - along with Aaron Swartz who took his own life earlier this year.

While people marching publically under the banner of Anonymous is nothing new, the scale and openness with which the group is promoting this particular event marks a move away from covert operations carried out in the deep web towards a more public and tangible identity.

Planned on Facebook

Anonymous operations are usually planned on secret IRC channels to which only known members of Anonymous are invited. The Million Mask March however is being planned almost entirely on Facebook with most major cities having their own profile page. An event map has even been created to help people keep track of where these events are taking place.

The London march will take place at 6pm local time on 5 November beginning in Trafalgar Square with the Facebook page inviting "everyone to a friendly gathering of the minds. A tea party, so to speak, as a collective we can trade our ideas and share them with the world." The page has over 1,500 Likes so far, giving some indication of the number of people likely to participate.

The 5 November is of course an important date for another reason. It is also Guy Fawkes Night which is significant because of the iconic mask worn by Anonymous members - now acting as a means of identification for the group.


While Anonymous membership might still be strong worldwide, it is no longer seen as the powerful force it was just 12 months ago. Then it was on the front pages of newspapers around the world for cyber-attacks against high profile targets such as the CIA, Sony and, in the UK, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

Last July an FBI agent in New York is reported as saying the agency had effectively dismantled the hacktivist group, implying that they were now in disarray. This came after the high-profile arrests and subsequent sentencing of members of LulzSec, an off-shoot of Anonymous whose leader, known as Sabu, had been turned by the FBI to become an informant.

In a recent interview with IBTimes UK, one prominent member of Anonymous in the UK admitted that there was a lot of infighting within the group and that it made it more difficult to be taken seriously.

With the Million Mask March however, it seems as if Anonymous is looking to make the transition from cyberspace into the real world. And unlike online operations where everyone's identity is a closely guarded secret, those organising march in places like Washington DC, Paris, London, Perth, Hong Kong and Dublin are freely revealing their identities.

John Fairhurst is the organiser of the Washington DC march and while he is quick to point out he is not a leader within Anonymous - as it has no leaders - he adds that the Million Mask March "is not only a protest showing our strength in numbers, it is as well the issuance of a warning to the powers that be."

Whether this is the first step on the road to the Anonymous movement becoming more than a loose online collective of hackers and trolls is unclear, but the acid test of how strongly people feel about this movement could come on 5 November when the number of people on the street will act as a very clear indicator of the support for the group.