Anonymous plans protest in India against website bans on June 9
Protests over blocking of websites are likely to become strident with hacktivist group Anonymous planning demonstrations in 11 cities on June 9 for restoring internet freedom. The group had targeted government sites and corporate websites after several file and link sharing sites were blocked by authorities and internet service providers (ISPs) recently.
Soon, it announced 'occupy' protests in various cities on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. The FB pages of the 'occupy' protests and Twitter pages of Anonymous are gaining support from netizens with many signing up to reach venues wearing Guy Fawkes masks. "Internet is the only free media we have. Censoring it will mean that free speech is not possible any more," a member of Anonymous told in an online chat.
If the curbs on internet are not lifted, there will be more attacks on government sites, the group said. "Most of them will be internet-based, but we will protest on the ground if need be," said another member. Just like the 'occupy movement' in the US, which started as 'Occupy Wall Street' and then spread to more than 20 locations, this could also become bigger if the curbs are not lifted, the member said.
Emphasising that the protests will be peaceful and no harm will be done to public, the group said that they targeted the website of Trinamool Congress recently because a professor was arrested for sharing a cartoon on Mamata Banerjee. "A democratic government doesn't have to fear us," a member said. "We are protesting to show that people can unite without anything in common and move towards a common cause," they said. As for their identity, another member said: "We do not have a country, a face, a name or even an identity. We represent only our cause."
Asked if they fear a crackdown by the authorities, the group said, "They can't stop the protests. Peaceful protest is our fundamental right. Their reaction is always for their benefit, they don't take any action for the people. If they fear us, they will try their best." Protests will be held in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Indore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kochi, Kozhikode, Nagpur and Pune. Chennai and a city in Uttar Pradesh are likely to join.