Guy Fawkes – a British festival goes global

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English football, Dr Who and Grand Theft Auto are among a growing list of unlikely British global exports that now includes Guy Fawkes Night. In the process of expatriation Mr Fawkes has undergone a transformation. For hundreds of years British kids have ceremonially mocked Mr Fawkes as a villain that blundered a royal assassination by throwing his effigy on a bonfire: Moore and Lloyd’s “V” is his reincarnation as a freedom fighter that represents an idea you can’t kill.

The people who turned out yesterday had different issues on their agenda’s – what the march was about depends as much on the newspaper you read as who they were asking about it. The London metropolitan constabulary failed to make contact with the organisers but in the event they needn’t have worried – it was a peaceful demonstration as advertised.

You can’t contact anonymous, V doesn’t exist and Guy Fawkes is dead – the idea of freedom of expression and free private association without needing permission or approval seems to be living up to its immortal reputation though.

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