By Alex Moore Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Today is Flag Day, and the start of Anonymous’s Empire State Rebellion seeking the resignation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Flag Day is perhaps our only secular holiday that’s purely about an abstract idea. I guess it’s not actually a holiday—it’s more just a regular day with a name—but still, it’s probably our only recognized day dedicated to something so symbolic and abstract as flags. What is a flag, after all, other than a bit of colored cloth imbued with the narratives and national sentiments that are supposed to cohere as a country?
It seems like an appropriately contrarian day as any for the elusive hacker collectiveAnonymous to launch its decidedly non-abstract, flesh-and-blood Empire State Rebellion.
While Anonymous has gained notoriety the world over for highly effective attacks in the intangible digital world, today’s protests aim to get bodies out into streets, protesting the old-fashioned way.
Three months ago Anonymous called for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to resign. Obviously Bernanke hasn’t heeded the call. In a move mirroring the populist outrage of protests blanketing a corner of the globe from Syria to Spain, Anonymous two days ago called for protests in the streets of America beginning today, June 14.
Following the meme of calling its activities “operations,” today’s is going by the name Operation Empire State Rebellion. As you might have guessed, one of its key gatherings is slated for downtown Manhattan, at Liberty Park. The group has released a Google Maps link to coordinate today’s protests, kicking off at 11AM EST.
The ambitious operation is being nicknamed CTRL+ALT_BERNANKE. Among its stated goals: order Ben Bernanke to step down; end the campaign finance and lobbying racket; break up the Fed and Too Big to Fail banks; enforce RICO laws against organized criminal class.
There’s a vast historical context for this latest wave of revolutions. When people become broke and frustrated enough, they rebel en masse. Anonymous’s approach, however, is decidedly modern. Their use of technology and the below call-to-arms they uploaded to YouTube would have seemed like the stuff of SciFi less than a decade ago.
Spain has already begun deploying force against its protesters and arresting suspected Anonymous members. Authorities there allege to have recovered a computer they say Anonymous used to hack Sony. Just yesterday Turkey arrested suspected Anonymous members.
Will we see a similar turn of events here? If Anonymous’s vitriol over the state of economic and social affairs spreads to the American populous, will we see an epic fight with the national guard?
Check out the video below, and stay tuned—there’s likely more drama to come. As Anonymous says, “We are legion. Expect us.”