US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | View comments | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News ::
Masking up. (english)
29 Sep 2003
Modified: 30 Sep 2003
Illegal?
Has anyone ever heard of a law prohibiting covering your face at a protest/march/political gathering/anything else?
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.

Comments

Yes, but ignore it. (english)
29 Sep 2003
They don't arrest people in Massachusetts for wearing masks, whether or not it is illegal. There are many reasons why some will wish to wear masks and why some others will choose not to. Masks have their place. Wear at will.
I don't know... (english)
29 Sep 2003
But if you are proud of what you do, and you are not doing anything illegal then why hide your identity?

I know Boston is proud of the fact that Bostonians started the revolution against the English but the sad fact remains they disguised themselves as American Indians when they threw away all that tea.

People who believe in what they do don't need to hide.

People who believe in what they do don't need to pretend to be someone else.

People who believe in what they do should openly display who they are and what they believe in and why.
What a joke. (english)
29 Sep 2003
Here is a quote from "Rational Normal Person":

"People who believe in what they do don't need to hide.

People who believe in what they do don't need to pretend to be someone else.

People who believe in what they do should openly display who they are and what they believe in and why."

Let's see, Rational Normal Person hides behind an anonymous identifier and will not reveal his identity. Therefore, carrying out the logic from his statements, we conclude that Rational Normal Person:

a) Does not believe in what he does.
b) From the beginning of the statement, we also see that he acknowledges that he hides because what he is doing is illegal.

Have you ever seen such a pathetic lying bastard before in your life?
OK Mr Anti Moron, you go first. (english)
29 Sep 2003
Mr Anti-Moron who are you?

I don't seem to be able to locate you in the phone book....
I'm not the one making the statements... (english)
29 Sep 2003
I'm not the one making the statements against anonymity, you are. You are the fucked up one. You are also unwanted on this newswire. You are like a fart in an elevator.

I am going to bed. Watching your mentally retarded posts is less than amusing.
Goodnight Stephen... (english)
29 Sep 2003
And please take careful note. The thread was about physical protests in the street, not posting on IMC....

There is a difference as you know....

So Steve (ISP Verizon), what happened to the self imposed non-posting for a month?
thanks guys (english)
30 Sep 2003
wow, this was a truly productive use of imc bandwidth.
glad to know the resource imc is providing is going to such excellent revolutionary purposes. thanks guys, really.
what a joke (english)
30 Sep 2003
No I've never heard of that law. Care to quote it for us? Does it apply to veils worn for religious purposes, costumes worn for artistic purposes?

I would LOVE to be arrested for wearing a mask in public. The ensuing lawsuit would be great publicity for the free speech movement, and opens up the avenue of funding dissent by suing the authorities for wrongful arrest and violation of civil rights.

Wear masks, people. Wear frightening, offensive, or beautiful masks. While wearing them, say things to people on the street--things they need to hear. Strip to your underwear (perfectly legal) and say things to old people. Study the laws and know your rights, then exercise them.

If your freedom of expression is threatened, then express yourself with a vengeance.

in mythos veritas?
Masks in Ireland (english)
30 Sep 2003

I have a very close friend who is a native of Belfast, Ireland (living in Boston for 3 years on a "cultural exchange" program that is supposed to teach him about how Americans "successfully" live in bi-racial and religious harmony... so that he can bring what he learns here back to Ireland. Now there's a joke. Anyway)....
He told me that it's illegal to have a ski-mask, or bandannas, or a balaklava, in Northern Ireland. Granted, their militant sub-groups have been around *alot* longer than the militant anarchistic subgroups in this country.
I asked him: How do you get them, then?
His response: You ask your granny to make one for you. But you can't buy them in the store like you can here, and you can't bring one in with you when you come oversees. If they find one in your luggage, you're in trouble.
So, other countries, yes illegal.
Here?!?! Please no! It get's "cold" outside...

-BostonRiot
There is always a cost (english)
30 Sep 2003
As with every security measure wearing a mask has costs and benefits.

Benefits:
-Hiding your identity from employers and others who don't need to know your political views.
-Hiding your identity from police and their cameras while you are doing something they might want to arrest you for.
-Supporting others who are doing something arrestable so they can blend into a crowd of masked faces.
-Hiding your identity from the authorities if you are wanted on other charges.
-Hiding your identity from fascists as you beat their asses out of town.

Costs:
-Inhibits communication with other protestors and spectators.
-Can be intimidating to other protestors and spectators.
-Can encourage militarism (desire for uniforms).
-Can encourage machismo (don't fuck with us!)


Does anyone care to add to this list?
Good list. (english)
30 Sep 2003
I think your list is good. There are a few other things that carrying a mask, if not on your face, can help with:

(1) Instant anarchist flag.
(2) When wet, helps a bit with smoke.
(3) Hand it to someone that has a need for it.

I am all in favor of using masks when they are needed. I also believe that all protesters should carry one in their pocket, whether or not they are an anachist. They have a time and place and that time and place is not always known in advance. I have never worn a mask at a protest, but I always carry one.
very clever (english)
30 Sep 2003
Suggesting that there is a link between masks and illegal activities, violence, smoke, etc. is just a way to make people fear activists.

My use of masks is just for theatre. My identity and face are well known around Harvard Square, as are by now those of all the saturday regulars. We are not trying to conceal our identities, and in fact I would discourage anyone from doing so, since it suggests you have something to hide.

To me, the activities in Harvard Square are not about hiding... Quite the opposite. They are about oppenness and creative dialogue, masks or no masks!

Keep it serious but positive folks - we have the scoundrels scrambling which is exactly where we want them!
Two sides of the coin. (english)
30 Sep 2003
Some people are revolutionaries and need masks for protection of their identity. Some people use them as symbols. Viewing the history of groups such as the Zapatistas, it's obvious that masks can be necessary. This has no implication for what we do in Harvard Square.

The movement in Harvard Square is disorganized. This means that anyone is welcome to join. Those of us that have been coming out to the square are those dedicated to being open about our dissent. There is propaganda value in stating that Americans can show their faces while dissenting. It helps give courage to others.

However, there is nothing wrong with others showing up and demonstrating as they sit fit, including the wearing of masks. Personally, if PETA wants to show up nude, that would be fine with me. If a group of Libertarians wish to show up in business suits, that would be fine as well.

It is my intention to go maskless until such time as an open struggle in the streets arises, should such an even ever occur. However, if things did get to the point of open rebellion, I would wear a mask. I don't expect "open rebellion" in the physical sense to break out in Harvard Square or any time soon. The more likely venue for such an event is an organized protest or a workers' strike that is put down by law enforcement with violence. That is unlikely to happen in Harvard Square.

I see Harvard Square as the ideal location in the Boston area to distribute political literature and propaganda, as many people from other states pass through and will take it home with them. I see our activities as a "meme fountain." Others are free to join us and exploit the atmosphere with their own strategies.