Anonymous, the global hacktivist group that has been in the news of late, organized a protest against Indian government’s website-blocking spree. This non-violent protest was organized across 11 cities all over India. We were present at Azad Maidan, Mumbai to speak to the protestors.
Initially it seemed like there were more media folk than actual protestors sporting the Guy Fawkes mask – which has come to symbolize Anonymous. Slowly the number of protestors started to increase. It was, however, a very small number of protestors – a little over a 75 approximately. Majority of the protestors were college-going youth who were distributing pamphlets and answering a lot of questions. As there is no single representative body or chapter of Anonymous, what we had was a bunch of passionate protestors.
“Till a few years back, we thought that torrents could not be blocked. But the government blocked it. Tomorrow what if they block proxy servers as well? We don’t think the government is that powerful, at least when it comes to technicalities. But by blocking sites, they are proving that they are just plain dumb. The government cannot stifle freedom of speech. We are not a dictatorship, we are a democracy where freedom of expression is a fundamental right,” was the unanimous statement given by the protestors.