'Vendetta' mask becomes symbol of Occupy protests

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 6:06 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 4 at 12:21 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Look at photos or videos from around the world of Occupy protesters and you'll likely spot a handful of people wearing masks of a cartoon-like man with a pointy beard, closed-mouth smile and mysterious eyes.

The mask is a stylized version of Guy Fawkes, an Englishman who tried to bomb the British Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605.

But history books didn't lead to the mask's popularity: A nearly 30-year-old graphic novel and a five-year-old movie did.

"V for Vendetta," the comic-based movie whose violent, anarchist antihero fashions himself a modern Guy Fawkes and rebels against a fascist government has become a touchstone for young protesters. While Warner Brothers holds the licensing rights to the Guy Fawkes mask, several protesters say they're using foreign-made copies to circumvent the corporation.

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