The masks themselves represent a movement of anarchists and was inspired by an awful movie (V for Vendetta) in which the antihero wears the mask as he attempts to fulfill the mission of the original Guy Fawkes - to blow up the British Parliament building.
Look at a photo or news clip 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.With so many disparate groups involved in the movement and when anyone can set up a tent in Zuccotti Park and protest anything they see fit, it's impossible to rid the park of individuals who are pushing for an anarchist agenda.
The mask is a stylized version of Guy Fawkes, an Englishman who tried to bomb the British Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605.
"They're very meaningful masks," said Alexandra Ricciardelli, who was rolling cigarettes on a table outside her tent in New York's Zuccotti Park two days before the anniversary of Fawkes' failed bombing attempt.
"It's not about bombing anything; it's about being anonymous — and peaceful."
To the 20-year-old from Keyport, N.J., the Fawkes mask "is about being against The Man — the power that keeps you down."
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.