Remember, remember, the fifth of November

Autumn, Celebrations, democracy, democratic rights, London Life

On the day when the British celebrate Guy Fawkes and that the English government (as it was then) outfoxed his plan to blow up parliament, I think it is fitting that we remember that the real power lies not with governments but with us all.

At a time when governments in the Western hemisphere behave with ever more outrageousness curtailing human rights our forefathers and mothers fought hard to gain in the first place, the day after the British Tory government announced it is seeking to extend surveillance powers over ordinary citizens to see what websites we visit through provider companies, we should remember that a man who had the gumption to stand up for what he believed in and go to extraordinary lengths to gain his objective was caught and punished as an example to us all.

The modern day Guy Fawkes’ now are Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and countless others. These are the people shining a light into some very dark corners of humanity, particularly those dark corners where governments like to hide their nefarious secrets. We need to wake up and realise what is being done while we are busy working for a living, trying to have a normal life and make things better for our families.

Interestingly I read a description of Guy Fawkes earlier today and he was described as a terrorist. Growing up in the UK his story was told to us children regularly but it never dawned on us the enormity of what he actually did, it was just a story and we could have some fun with fireworks and enjoy baked potatoes baked in the embers of the bonfires and toffee apples. The meaning Guy Fawkes rebellion gives is more poignant meaning at this point in time.

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