Marking the 5th of November, or Bonfire Night in Britain, legions marched through the streets of London to protest austerity as part of the Million Mask March.
The majority or those marching wore, aptly enough, the Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta, a film about rebelling against totalitarianism based on the famous graphic novel of the same name.
But the protester’s frustrations weren’t limited to anti-austerity. The broader message of the marches (which took place in cities around the world) was anti-capitalism.
Source: Wealth: Having it all and wanting more by Oxfam
According to a report published by the poverty charity Oxfam, by 2016 the top percentile of people in the world will have more wealth than the bottom 99 percent.
In fact, according to above graph, the bottom 99 percent of the world’s population is due to become poorer and poorer, controlling less than 46 percent of the world’s resources by 2020.
In light of such damning evidence, many feel compelled to support the Million Mask March. However, there’s one crucial irony to this anti-capitalist march that many are overlooking.
Whoever makes those masks is making a lot of money.
The V mask is itself a copyrighted product. Every time that Rubies sells one – for $6.49, £5.16 or €10.50 – some of the profit goes to Warner Bros., which owns the rights both to the V for Vendetta film and graphic novel.
Not even the writer of the comic book, Alan Moore, makes money from this, having had his name removed from the film’s credits as he has no ownership of the material and was unhappy with the film.
Warner Bros. is one of Hollywood’s six biggest studios, taking in £8bn in revenues last year. It’s also a subsidiary of Time Warner, a company who owns New Line Cinema, HBO, Cartoon Network, CNN and DC Comics, to name but a few of its properties.
Unfortunately then, until Anonymous creates its own mask or uses a likeness that’s in the public domain, the group’s protests are lining the pockets of super-capitalists.
Image Credit – Anonymous (2013) by anonymous, by Christian Verdun