Why Mask Up at Protests?

By C. Fisher

At demonstrations and protests, I argue that protesters mask up to protect ourselves from a surveillance state which is
ever growing to target and identify activists. It doesn’t matter if what you do is entirely peaceful, police will still try to identify you, create a file on you and attempt to prosecute you. Endless evidence proves the police and state security services target protesters, activists and campaigners of any type.

International protest in support of punk band Pussy Riot
                                            A protester protecting their identity.

Random Arrests

Last year UCL students both in, and walking past, a ‘cops off campus’ demo were randomly arrested; everyone is a possible target and thus all must take the precautions necessary to protect themselves from the arbitrary intimidation of the state. Even if you’re not participating in direct action, masking up gives solidarity to those that do by letting them hide within
our ranks. Protection is in numbers.

Retaliation

It’s often said we should avoid masks and be proud of what we do. But the system doesn’t reward our pride, and when we’re fighting against the government, it’s stupid not to expect them to retaliate, and history proves they do.

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