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#OccupyWallStreet: No masks for you

#OccupyWallStreet: No masks for you

You may not know it, but the internet hacking group Anonymous helped launch the Occupy Wall Street movement with a video released in late August:.

During the initial protests in New York, protesters attempted to use masks similar to those used in the video, but were stymied by the police who invoked New York’s anti-mask law.

You know about the New York anti-mask law, don’t you?

You would if you read LI on May 23, 2010, when I featured the law in a post about the “Gringo Mask” being used by opponents of the Arizona immigration law:

These people need lawyers, not masks.

Because wearing a mask in public is illegal in many states, so the wearing of the Gringo Mask in and of itself would be grounds to be stopped by the police (and a resulting identity check?).

In many states, these laws grew out of the desire to have a legal basis to prohibit the wearing of hoods at Ku Klux Klan rallies. In New York, interestingly, the law “can be traced back in substance to legislation enacted in 1845 to thwart armed insurrections by Hudson Valley tenant farmers who used disguises to attack law enforcement officers.” (Citation, at 10)

New York Penal Law § 240.35(4), which has been upheld by the federal Court of Appeals (in a decision in which now Justice Sotomayor participated) makes it an offense of “loitering” for a person to be masked in public:

“Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place; except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment if, when such entertainment is held in a city which has promulgated regulations in connection with such affairs, permission is first obtained from the police or other appropriate authorities.”

See, this is a law blog. Sometimes.


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You can’t fool me! The anti-mask law has nothing to do with the KKK or armed insurrections! It’s CLEARLY aimed at putting superheroes out of business!

DINORightMarie | October 10, 2011 at 8:46 am

Do you have more information on Anonymous? My understanding from listening to Rush/Levin, etc. is that a Canadian group was the initiator of the OWS protests.

Is Anonymous an anarchist group? I know they have been involved in hacking and data release, purporting world peace etc., but sounds like they are more than that. Just wondering. The “V”/”Guy Fawkes” mask is revolting – it conveys total mayhem, hate, and evil to me.

And, yes, it is always good to see the law part of your blog when you post, whether state, federal, or related to an important court case. But I enjoy it all!! 😀

    “Anonymous” are, in short, a left-wing cult of unstable personalities (not to mention historical ignoramuses; Guy Fawkes, really…) who are in the business of disinformation, self-promotion, theft, antisemitism, and various other grand traditions of the hypocritical left.

    A good way to see who they really are, is to read through Render64’s blog:

    They’re also buddy-buddy with Wikileaks, with at least one member having had a hand in the creation and dissemination of this piece of agitprop, intended to vilify US soldiers as intentionally targeting journalists:

DINORightMarie | October 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

I just read this on Dan Rather IDs driving force behind OWS.

More evidence that anarchists and professional community organizers are behind this grass roots astroturf movement.

I wonder how this works on Holloween ?

This Halloween, you to can be a Weiner — Anthony Weiner.

Disgraced “sexting” Rep. Anthony Weiner has received the ultimate compliment — or slap in the face, depending how you look at it — thanks to a new “Weinergate” mask that’s available to the discerning trick-or-treater this year.

These people, apparently lacking the ability to think of something productive to do, and suffering cognitive dissonance, having come down from their psychotic euphoria of worship to the Obamagod, have been left with nothing to expend their energies on, and so now are engaged in this desperate, prolonged, pointless making of noise.