Getty Images (2016). http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/million-mask-march-2016-hundreds-of-masked-anonymous-activists-descend-on-trafalgar-square-a3388116.html#gallery
I was walking down Leicester Square with one of my flatmates "K" from Morocco. We were on our way to Hamleys, a toy shop 5 stories high, to bring out our inner child. It was wonderful, but I think the gift shop at the Natural History Museum or Science Museum will bring out the inner child in me a little more. So!
On our way there, we saw a couple of people with masks on the backs of their heads, similar to the ones I recognized from the movie, V for Vendetta. There were also large groups of police lined up at different parts of the square, and in the surrounding area. K asked them what was going on, and they said that there was something called the "Million Mask March" that was to take place in multiple places, one of them was Leicester Square. K went about her business, and I hung around the square for about 45 minutes, to see what may happen, I ended up taking the tube back because it was late and I was getting pretty cold. Turns out I missed out on quite the event. There were fireworks going off throughout the town, some of which I had been hearing going off throughout the week.
The Gunpowder Plot
In the 1600s, a group of men planned to blow up and overthrow the British Parliament in an attempt to spark a revolution. King James I, who was intolerant of Catholics in England. The conspirators, who were of Catholic faith, secured a house near the House of Lords, and built a tunnel leading towards it, while stocking up on gunpowder. 36 barrels of gunpowder had been placed under the House of Lords, and the attack was planned to commence on the day of its opening, November 5th, 1605. Guy Fawkes was the explosive expert, he had been disguised as a servant, but he was arrested under growing suspicion of "a blowe" due to be received on the Parliament. Fawkes confessed under torture days after November 5th, and 8 others were hanged under charge of treason.
In commemoration of this juicy piece of British history, a straw man is burned every November 5th, and fireworks are set off around the city. It makes sense now, why the past few weeks I continuously saw "Firework event here" on Google Maps. In a town called Lewes, it is common for the burning effigies to be current, or more recent figures, rather than the primary historical figure, Guy Fawkes. As Presidential elections were taking place in the United States, I found it amusing that an effigy mocking Trump and his proposed U.S. Mexican border wall went ablaze (Curry, 2016).
Million Mask March
Thank you for visiting! This is my personal blog, where I write about social justice, geography, culture, and my own encounters and reflections from around the world.