Polish MPs wear Guy Fawkes masks to protest ACTA

The streets of Poland have erupted in protest on the eve of the country's signing onto ACTA, the secretive copyright treaty that is being rammed through many European Parliaments this year. Members of Parliament showed up for work wearing Anon-style Guy Fawkes masks to show their disapproval.

After the signing, protesters rallied in the Polish cities of Poznan and Lublin to express their anger over the treaty. Lawmakers for the left-wing Palikot's Movement wore masks in parliament to show their dissatisfaction, while the largest opposition party — the right-wing Law and Justice party — called for a referendum on the matter.

Poland signs copyright treaty that drew protests (via JWZ)

(Image: downsized thumbnail snipped from a photo by Alik Keplicz/AP)


  1. I don’t even understand what Poland – or anyone else for that matter – is supposed to be getting out of ACTA.  I should note, though, that the parliament here still has to ratify this garbage and now that both Palikot and PiS are making a stink about it maybe, just maybe, we’ll see it burned and buried in an unmarked grave.

    1. Probably foreign aid, or future access to J-35 sales, increased Unicef funding for schools or any variety of beneficial infrastructure funding

    1. Epic means “large in scale”, and “win” means “victory”. What you’ve posted makes no sense whatsoever in reference to this situation.

  2. Those look photocopied. That means Warner Bros aren’t getting their cut of mask sales! Warner Bros should definitely sue these infringers.

  3. Guy Fawkes masks being worn by parliamentarians, in parliament… it’s a pity the real Guy Fawkes never got to see his name and image transformed into a rallying cry. (And if he could, someone somewhere would be telling him to sue.)

    1. He’d probably be disgusted given he was trying to force the Protestent heathen back in line.

      Amazing how a symbol can change meaning over the span of years. Thanks Alan Moore for giving us an effective and styalish bit of visual shorthand for saying the government sucks.

      1. It gives me hope that one day soon, the Confederate Battle Flag will be linked with racial tolerance.

        1. Interestingly I suppose it could also be applied to ‘overthrow the oppressive people that don’t care about local conditions’ but since the people likely to use it would be those most oppressed by the Plantation System as a form of irony… Yea. Tolerance is more likely.

        2. oh, hi again.  fyi, here in atlanta, I knew a black dude that had the stars and bars as the front license plate to his four wheel drive.  and, he had a baby with a white girl.  miscegenation, ftw!

  4. Poland has not yet perished,

    So long as we still live.

    What the alien force has taken from us,

    We shall retrieve with a..  ..uhh… with a Guy Fawkes mask. 

  5. Between this and the joint incident the other day it appears that Poland engages in some pretty forward thinking politics!

    Rather than most of the western world which is more about popularity contests and bribes.

  6. ” Lawmakers for the left-wing Palikot’s Movement”

    This is not really a left-wing movement.  It’s socially and fiscally liberal, what in the US might be termed “libertarian”.


    1. It’s socially and fiscally liberal,

      My fellow Americans should read this is as “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”  American and continental notions of “liberal” and “conservative” don’t correspond very well.

      (The problem is on the American side where “liberal” has become a pejorative for “Democrat” and “conservative” has come to mean essentially “devout protestant Christian.”)

  7. On the one hand, this is awesome. On the other, I am pissed off that they didn’t do anything to stop it or to raise awareness of it before it was too late. Wearing masks is cute but they’re in the parliament now, they have other means of taking action- and they don’t seem to be taking any, in this or other issues they claimed were important. 

    1. From the article, “Poland’s ambassador to Japan, Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska, signed it in Tokyo.” It sounds like it wasn’t even up to Parliament to sign?

        1. …Boing boing, I hate your new comment system, if I’m not logged in, it EATS THE COMMENT I WROTE.

          What I had written ever-so-eloquently and which I shall try to summarise was: the masked party is one known for being extremely vocal about controversial issues (gay rights most importantly, and various other understated but necessary freedoms, so it’s not surprising they’d stand against ACTA). And now that they’ve won some seats in the parliament, I think it’s time for them to actually do something with the power they have- both the immediate power (ratifying laws) and the rather fortunate side-effects of being an important party now. So far I haven’t seen them do much except shout that something must be done.

          But, we’ll see. ACTA is under strict review right now before any ratification happens- let’s hope it doesn’t.

          1. Not as often as this new one. Or maybe I’m just unlucky. It always happens the one time I forget to copy my comment…It would also help if the system paid attention to the little ‘remember me’ checkbox. [/rant rant whine]

    2. On the other, I am pissed off that they didn’t do anything to stop it or to raise awareness of it before it was too late.

      This is why Cory is constantly banging on about stopping shit before it happens.

  8. I suspected that Palikot’s Movement will do something like that.  Their leader’s name and surname Janusz Palikot, can be translated as:

    Janusz -> Janus (as the Roman god of transitions and change) 
    Palikot -> (The Smokin’Cat) :D
    They are notorious for picketing against the catholic church, pointing dildoes and water pistols at other politicians, threatening to smoke pot in the parliament building,  having the first openly gay (and flamboyant) parliament member, and another transsexual one, and holding political debates on a boxing ring.
    Those whacky antics, combined with their super-liberal ideas , won them 10% of votes in less than a year.
    Things change.

    1. The dildo and toy gun incident, while quaint, was related to the case of a policeman’s attempted rape, at gunpoint, of an arrested woman. The case didn’t get much public attention until Palikot, in front of cameras, produced the toy gun and a dildo to illustrate how the two should never come together. Sadly, his point was entirely forgotten. All that is remembered is a politician wielding a sex toy. 
      Not to say that it wasn’t a publicity stunt. But it was a well-intentioned one.

  9. pedants alight– firecrackers in a Polish Spring.  Solidarinosc, pax 
    Romana, all the garbage of empire.
    Hot hobbit boner-dollars press against the corporate leg, teasing.  
    Piracy is no mask, it is the paper outline of a maker.

  10. Poles’ response is really amazing, there have been protests in most cities in the whole country. I think it was the most popular “uprising” since the fall of commies. There were single bigger events in Poland in recent history organized by mine worker unions etc. but we haven’t seen a protest in every city in the whole country for quite some time. Some gatherings quite massive (15 thousand people in Krakow, 5 thousand in Poznan yesterday. At one moment bricks started to fly at a ruling party local HQ but people managed to stay peaceful fortunately.

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