The Million Mask March: Language, legitimacy, and dissent

Date

2016-01-06

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1740-5912

Volume Title

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

The following paper examines emerging trends in protest management in the UK, looking predominantly at the 5 November 2015 demonstrations led by hacktivist collective Anonymous. This event can be considered unique on a number of fronts. First, the common terminology used by police to justify the use of undercover operatives and aggressive forms of crowd control was conspicuously absent from public discourse surrounding the event. Secondly, conventional media channels throughout the UK focused on the London campaign and all but failed to cover the wider national/international demonstrations – thus depicting London itself as an isolated incident. Thirdly, the Million Mask March was a significant moment in civil history, for behind the scenes much of the policing effort was taking place online, with covert agencies manipulating mainstream coverage of the event to discredit campaigners, disrupt a legitimate public protest, and deny participants their right to dissent.

Description

Keywords

Protest, surveillance, discourse, intelligence, JTRIG, GCHQ, public order, policing, hacktivism

Citation

Harbisher, B. (2016) The Million Mask March: Language, legitimacy, and dissent. Critical Discourse Studies, 13 (3), pp. 294-309

Rights

Research Institute

Media Discourse Centre (MDC)