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    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.21)
    @skeets

    <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/id/109410">Decent article here, by Newsweek. </a>

    Any mention of the protests or Anonymous are strangely absent from CNN.

    - Z
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.22)
    @z Thanks. It screamed to be done.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.23)
    Pictures from the London protest up soon.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.24)
    London:
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2200/2255655712_04f587707c.jpg?v=0
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2053/2255655706_7f1475777d.jpg?v=0






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    •  
      CommentAuthorhmobius
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.25)
    Blimey - it's Jerry Sadowicz in a V mask!
  1.  (939.26)
    I love all this

    oh fuck

    It's sums up the whole internet "Did you know that scientology forces it's members too... is that longcat?"
  2.  (939.27)
    I loved to see V in the middle of everything.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.28)
    You know, I get the feeling that some of the people involved aren't taking this entirely seriously. Hehe.
    • CommentAuthorRjrM
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.29)
    Hum...

    In Auz they have Hello Gasmask Kitty.

    Here we have Hello Kitty V...

    I know which I'd prefer.

    Also, if Anonymous is sparking something inside the brain mulch of groups of people all over the globe, then why is their target so... banal/narrow?

    There are issues facing us as a spiecies that are alot more pressing, serious and damn scary than the fettered remains of Hubbards final wank...

    The whole concept of Anonymous excites and inspires me, I just wish they were pointing in a better direction.

    Till then, my V mask is waiting...
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.30)
    Right.

    Brief write up of London protests:

    Headed into town later than I expected to get a text from a friend who was going which went something along the lines of: "There are five police vans, six police horses, a helicopter overhead and just me here so far." At which point it didn't look encouraging and I disappeared into the underground and out of communication thinking that nothing will come of this, but that might be funny in itself, considering the police turnout.

    When I arrived at the headquarters near Mansion House things were definitely happening, and there were already over a hundred people there, most of them in V masks. Protesters were crowding around the doors to the CoS headquarters and were moved away in some very impressively coordinated police horse maneuvers.

    Then, word goes round that this initial protest is just a grouping exercise and the plan is to move to the more publicly situated Tottenham Court Road CoS building. So a few hundred masked protesters all decamp and head onto the tube, which was vaguely surreal in itself. Being masked created a sense of camaraderie amongst the throng and the atmosphere was mostly friendly.

    Although, having said that, I did witness one of the London Transport staff virtually assaulting a protester as he tried to get him down from standing on a bench. The protester shouldn't have been standing on it, true, but this bloke grabbed him and pushed him very roughly. Almost instantly half a dozen cameras were on him, and I explained very politely that there were several witnesses to what happened and it might be best for everyone involved if he just backed down and walked away. Which he did.

    The move to Tottenham Court Road seemed to take the police by surprise and they were just erecting barricades and putting tape up as we got there. The V-masked throng of protesters assembled across the street from the CoS shopfront and what the police were doing was actually very sensible. They were putting up barriers in front of the road, to make sure no one fell or was pushed into it, but tape everywhere else. Most of the police were also very polite, letting people into and out of the taped areas without any fuss at all.

    To start with, protesters were engaging with the folk from the CoS, who were continuing to offer and perform 'stress tests' in the street. The police then separated the scientologists form the protesters and this is when the only trouble I saw started, as a few protesters argued the point over their right to be wherever they wanted to be, and not corralled into barriers.

    More masked protesters turned up, obviously as word got around that something fairly large and worth turning up to was going on. I'd estimate that by half past two there were around three to four hundred protesters, but that is just a guess.

    Chants then started up, led by a bloke with a megaphone. 'Hail Xenu', 'You're a cult and you know you are', 'What happened to Lisa McPherson?', 'We want Tom, We want Tom', 'One-nil to anonymous', 'Save Katie', 'Just come out of the closest, no one will mind', 'Scientology - do not want'. 'Battlefield Earth - Worst. Film. Ever.' and so on...

    Cameras pointed from out of the top windows of the CoS place, aimed at the crowd were met with cheers and waves, and cars that honked their horns as they went past also got a good reaction.

    The protesters all seemed to be enjoying themselves and the officials from the CoS that were placed at the front of the building seemed quite confused and bemused by it all. A later chant was 'are your smiles hurting yet'. Some of the very angry faces that appeared at upper windows said a lot more.

    There was a lot about it that was very interesting. This was not the hardcore mob that I've seen on anti-road or eco-protests. Geeky t-shirts were very much on display, as well as cute girly stuff. It wasn't an angry protest. It was almost like it was a bunch of people genuinely trying to make a point about something that didn't make sense to them.

    Just had a call from a friend who was there - the protesters have now all decamped to a pub. According to one of the coppers he spoke to, they estimated the largest number of protesters at one point to have been five to seven hundred.

    So there you go. Using an excellent targeted memetic approach, Anonymous delivered several effective and peaceful international protests at very short notice.
    • CommentAuthorsubw00ter
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008 edited
     (939.31)
    People will protest a pseudo-religion-joke that does no more harm than distraction at the drop of an anonymous internet group's hat, but protests for real issues such as a war that has killed 300,000+ or an ongoing genocide on the african continent have long fizzled out.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.32)
    I seem to remember joining around a million or so people to protest the Iraq war a while back and it doing very little good. However, there are still regular protests and events aimed at the Iraq war that attract far more people than these did. You're perhaps noticing this more because of the extremely effective communications channels that are being used.

    But if it still bothers you, take some lessons from what's happened, in terms of how to organise and publicise protest events. Regard this as a kind of lab-test that can be applied to wider problems.
  3.  (939.33)
    Also, if Anonymous is sparking something inside the brain mulch of groups of people all over the globe, then why is their target so... banal/narrow?


    Maybe it's a slow start, display of power, than on to bigger things.
    • CommentAuthorbCollins
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008 edited
     (939.34)
    Anonymous vs. Scientology, Carytown, Richmond, Virginia, USA, Teegeeack
    Anonymous, Carytown





    Pretty peaceful affair, roughly two dozen student-aged protestors. Saw a Scientologist guy outside their "church" talking to cops but I think they were just there as a formality. Lots of honking in support. I live like two blocks from this place, the LRH bots erected their new temple to pyramid schemes just this year. Flickr link
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.35)
    Oh, something else I meant to include in my write up. An overheard conversation between a CoS official and a random person enquiring about what was going on, whom I strongly suspect wasn't entirely stupid. I'm paraphrasing, but this is the gist of it:

    "Yeah, they've been giving us lots of trouble. They're trying to hack our internets and have also been sending us suspicious packages."

    "What do you mean, suspicious? And how do you know they were from them?"

    "Well, there was no name on them. So they were anonymous. And they were funny looking."

    "What was wrong with them? Did they contain anything dangerous? Did you report it to the police? What exactly were these suspicious packages? What happened to them?"

    "They were suspicious."

    "So you said. But were they dangerous? Did they include threats? Bombs? Anthrax? Rabid Monkeys? Hungry Dormice... a couple of threatening weevils, perhaps?"

    "We were sent suspicious packages from an anonymous source."

    "Yeeee...eesss... and what exactly does that mean?"

    "Would you like to take one of our stress tests? Personality evaluation?"

    "Riiiight..."
    •  
      CommentAuthorLuke
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
     (939.36)
    Protests in Toronto seem to be going well. About forty people, and I know London-heads don't consider Toronto a real city but minus twelve temperatures mean those protesters have to be serious.

    Well-behaved, and the advantage of the sub-zero is everybody is potentially anonymous - pull your scarf over your face and you're good to go, which is what many of the protesters were doing, though there were the requisite V masks too. Some smart people in charge - they found a toy gun stashed under leaflets in a doorway, and while their claims of a scientological plant were a little conspiracy heavy (more likely just an idiot), they knew not to touch the damn thing and got the police to take it away.

    A couple of fools thinking "I'm going to be the STAR of this anonymous protest!", trying to start chants and memes then screaming "What the fuck is wrong with you?" to fellow protesters when nobody joins in. They quietened down pretty quickly once they realised the protest wasn't actually about them and let people get on with it.

    Lots of street support and honking, everybody there is acting legally and keeping out of trouble. Bare minimum of retarded internet songs and ninjas considering it's an internet-organised event.
    • CommentAuthordbspin
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008 edited
     (939.37)
    Dublin:

    Headed to the protest, intending to observe rather than participate, around 12.30pm. Impressed by the size of the crowd, I'd say there were 40 scattered protesters, including those across the street from the centre (Middle Abbey St) and leafleting O'Connell St.

    dublin1

    Here's the centre itself, situated in a filthy building above a travel agents, amusingly enough advertising 'Cruise Holidays'.

    dublin 2

    dublin3

    A couple of scientologists crossed the street to speak to the protesters - including this guy, who seemed articulate and reasonable, until asked about claims that Dianetics can cure leukaemia (and confronted with printed quotations from the book), at which point he scarpered back inside the building. Supposedly other scientologists periodically took photos of the crowd, but I didn't witness this personally.

    dublin3

    Apparently the man below is the local scientology head honcho. He was an ostensibly reasonable fellow, and stood outside all day, either speaking to protesters or standing across the street from them. No intimidation tactics were used, and there were none of the obviously false smiles and glassy expressions familiar from say last years Panorama hatchet job.

    dublin4

    Head honcho showed me this darling letter he'd been handed by a protester..

    dublin5

    dublin6

    There was no trouble and a very small police presence. Spirits were high amongst the protesters, the majority of whom were quite respectful, and remained across the street from the centre. The only really odd moment came when a family of scientologists (father and mother, with kids in tow) left the centre and crossed the street to speak to the protesters. The guy checked out a poster questioning the death of Lisa McPherson, and responded by laughing in a disturbing and inappropriate manner, shaking hands with a couple of protesters, thanking them, and whisking his family away.

    Friend of mine has posted a photo montage video on youtube.
  4.  (939.38)
    There's a church here in Chatsworth (CA, USA), but I didn't see anyone out there when I went out earlier today.
  5.  (939.39)
    I was in the neighbourhood and swung by the Vancouver (Canada) protest shortly after noon. Someone had just done a count and said they were 140 protesters at that point. I was somewhat disappointed that their signs weren't more visible or clever. Maybe the witty folks weren't awake yet. Lots of V masks. I just realized I didn't see any police but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. Luckily the rain has been light today and it looks like the sun might be coming out now. As I was walking away I heard the group singing Happy Birthday to Lisa McPherson.
  6.  (939.40)
    The Edinburgh protest went off without a hitch apparently:

    Edinburgh Anon


    Will

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