'demonstrator' at #OccupyWallStreet was Guy Fawkes

Carrying On
A demonstrator* at Zuccotti Park on Thursday, Day 13 of the Occupy Wall Street protests. [New York Times photo caption]

I saw him almost as soon as I arrived at the Plaza. He was standing at the eastern end of the park, facing Broadway, the pedestrians passing on the sidewalk and the line of cops posted close to the curb. I was somewhere to the rear and side. He was shirtless; he was silent and almost motionless; he was holding a large handprinted cardboard sign; and he had a distinctive face, with a look which spoke of control and resolution.

I noticed the shirtless part first (and the inescapable Line of Beauty), then, as I walked around to face him, I was surprised at the tender, clearly (and graphically) heartfelt message of the sign. It was only later that I thought of his resemblance to the signature Guy Fawkes images of anonymous.

I took some pictures of the guy with the raised fist, but I thought they lacked sufficient appositeness to be included in the scenes I later uploaded in my post about a visit to the #OccupyWallSteet encampment on Thursday.

Then I saw the image here at the top on an inside page of Friday's hard copy edition of The New York times, page A23 to be precise. It was a three-column-wide picture with a short caption offering almost no enlightenment and with no mention of the words on the sign the "demonstrator" was holding. There was no article accompanying it.

I was disturbed by the casualness, even flippancy with which the Times had used it as filler, as entertainment for readers it had not informed about its context. It was also at that time that I first thought of Fawkes.

I thought both the messenger and the message deserved more, so I am posting my own image below.

UPDATE: When I published this post the demonstrator's name was not available to me. I asked at the time if anyone might know his identity, and I also wrote that I would like to know if the natural "mask" evoking one of the groups which initiated the 2011 Revolution was a conscious device (n.b. New York has outlawed the wearing of real masks for almost two centuries). Since then a reader has pointed me to this Times video in which the activist shown here appears, his name described in the credits as "Christopher Scully". I still don't know the story of the facial hair.


[I was unable to locate the image I saw in the paper on the New York Times own website, so this JPEG of the photo by Timothy A. Clary is from Agence France Presse - Getty Images, and it was published, cropped slightly at the bottom, by MSNBC]

Thank you James for this great reporting. I just linked to your blog from furbirdsqueerly so folks up here in Ct. can have real day to day coverage.

See http://www.occupytogether.org