Wearing An ‘Anonymous’ Mask In America Can Get You Arrested
A man wearing the signature Anonymous ‘Guy Fawkes’ mask was arrested in Arizona while attending a hearing in Maricopa County over suspected election fraud. The Guy Fawkes mask has long been associated with the Anonymous movement. Guy Fawkes is the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot. The plot was an attempt to blow up the House of Lords in London on 5 November 1605, in order to restore a Catholic head of state. The use of a mask on an effigy, has long roots as part of Guy Fawkes Night celebrations.
The mask became a well-known symbol for the online hacktivist group Anonymous, used in Project Chanology, the Occupy movement, and other anti-government and anti-establishment protests around the world.
A man from Arizona sitting in an Anonymous mask was harangued by police and arrested. The entire arrest saga was captured on camera even as bystanders protested that he did nothing wrong or illegal. The incident took place in the House Gallery, during the Maricopa County hearing over the suspected election fraud.
Two police officers did not pay heed to the protesters and went on to arrest the man. The man later revealed as Jonathan McRae was peacefully attending the hearing when two officers hustled him to the floor from behind. Bystanders further noted that although the man in question didn’t have his face concealed by the mask—the mask had been resting on the top of his head.
As the incident took place during a hearing proceeding, many bystanders started filming the event. Many of them stated that he was arrested for wearing an Anonymous mask.
In the video, another bystander accuses the police of choking the man as the officers unduly restrained him while he was quietly sitting between the chairs. Chants of “shame” and “the whole world is watching” were cried as the man was forced to his feet and escorted away.
At the end of the video, one official agreed that the man with the mask did nothing wrong. Janet Higgens, who uploaded one of the videos, stated: “We were at the point of chaos. All brought on by the police. For a man sitting quietly. With dreadlocks. His name is Jonathan S. McRae. He is currently in jail, charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. I disagree. He was harassed, held to the floor for over 5 minutes, and kidnapped. I don’t know if he was injured in the attack.”
“We the people of the United States are tired of this stuff,” another witness stated.
McRae was later charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault of a police officer.
You can view the long version of the video here.