Photos and article by: Tasja Nielsen
Event: Million Mask March
Venue: Copenhagen City Hall Square
Date: 05 November ‘14
I want to tell you the epic tale of people gathering in the thousands, uniting under a single cause. I want to tell you how we made a majestic roar in the streets of Copenhagen. I want to tell you guys how the Million Mask March swept through the city like a liberating typhoon.
On the other hand, I was told to be honest, so the story is a bit different.
When I arrived to the City Hall Square in Copenhagen it was about 5pm. The dark had settled and the rain was unavoidable.
Because of the fact that Copenhagen is one big construction-site these days I saw pulsating lights and thought ”Oh the march is ON this year”.
My mistake, it was just a huge billboard illuminating the Square.
I turned my head and saw the union of Guy Fawkes masks lined up in front of the City Hall. I was late, but it didn’t seem like I missed anything, a lot of people were taking photos, a dude was yelling angry stuff like ”Fuck NWO, all you sheep will be chipped!”. It's not strange words for my ears, but for the unknowing people passing by, it seemed offensive and I didn’t like to be associated with that.
The Guy Fawkes army changed positions and now it was picture time, again. In front of that big pulsating billboard. It seemed a bit unstructured to me, but unfortunately that is not a rare sight on the Danish activist scene.
I asked a few masked people what brought them to this march and the answers were very different. One guy said that he was there because he wanted to show that it was not just the governments that could monitor its citizens online, but it was the other way around as well.
None of the people I talked to knew who the historical figure Guy Fawkes was, or why they used his mask as their brand.
It made me wonder how many of them actually knew that he once tried to kill an English king, but got stopped and burned alive. He was a catholic though, so since many of the protesters were against religion, I had a little inside-chuckle over the paradox.
The march began, and it was nice to get in motion. My tiny body was freezing as hell. The police were present, but not in an overwhelming way. I was a bit worried about it though. Some of the male protesters were kind of aggressive and I could easily visualise the possible confrontation.
But as far as I experienced, nothing like that happened and we could march freely. The flags and banners attracted attention from the spectators, but I think that the cold and the rain held them back from interacting with the marching people.
I really wish that the fifth of November was in the summertime. Maybe the turnout would have been better and the connection to one another would have been more pleasant.
I came alone, and I really felt that.
Not that I felt hated or anything, but I felt there was a lot of anger. Justified anger, yes, but I got very tired from the experience and couldn’t fully resonate with the people shouting. Maybe I'm just too sensitive.
It turned around in the end.
Some mask-wearing gentleman came to me, and handed me a single pink rose. A little token of affection in the midst of the rain, dark and protesting. It gave me warmth and hope. I thank you.
We are Legion.
We are Love.