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It has been become the face of the modern protester. We saw it on the streets of Turkey last week, worn on masks by airline workers, but by many others, too. And in Thailand, too, covering the faces of anti-government protesters. They were used by the anti-austerity protesters in Greece, by the Occupy movement, by the protesters in Tahrir Square, by the mysterious hackers known as Anonymous.
And the visage is apparently so frightening that last week, the Saudi interior minister is said to have banned the masks all together in his country following in the footsteps of his neighbors in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. What do you think? The likeness is that of Guy Fawkes, an explosives expert in the early 1600s in England who was part of a plot to blow up the state opening of the British Parliament. He is still burned in effigy in England every November 5.
But the credit for his worldwide resurgence in popularity is given to the film V for Vendetta, which was released in 2005 by CNN's corporate cousin Warner Brothers.
I doubt Guy Fawkes could ever have imagined as he died a torturous death – hung, drawn, and quartered – that 400 years later he would have so many doppelgangers so far flung across the world.