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November 7, 2014

Edinburgh\’s \’Million Mask March\’ flies distinctly Scottish colours

Edinburgh’s ‘Million Mask March’ flies distinctly Scottish colours

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Amongst other Guy Fawkes Night partying, the now-regular march to the Scottish Parliament by Anonymous saw significantly higher attendance, Wednesday, at this year’s event. With Catalan flags and pro-Independence Saltires flying, activist numbers had clearly been swelled by the referendum result.

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Banner — later used to lead the march — laid out on the Castle Esplanade before setting off.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police waiting, on the adjacent Johnston Terrace, prior to the march setting off.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Saltires by moonlight, as the growd gathers on the Castle Esplanade.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Anonymous Scotland banner surrounded by group of protesters.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Independence supporters mingling with masked members of Anonymous.
Image: Brian McNeil.

As the march prepares to set off, the banner is raised and the crowd asked to assemble behind it.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd heading off Esplanade, with the Outlook Tower Camera obscura to top-right of frame.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police Scotland watch as the crowd progresses down Edinburgh’s High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Walking down Castle Hill on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Edinburgh Castle as backdrop to the crowd leaving the Esplanade.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Further down Edinburgh’s High Street, with the banner passing the High Court.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd progressing down Edinburgh’s High Street towards the Scottish Parliament
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the top of Cockburn Street on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the top of Cockburn Street on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd progressing down Edinburgh’s High Street towards the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A Police van leads the procession down the bottom-half of the High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

March walking down The Canongate.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing Edinburgh’s New Street, which leads down to the City of Edinburgh Council‘s Waverley Court HQ.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Marchers walking down Edinburgh’s High Street towards Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The March progresses through the city’s Canongate area.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Regardless of chanting, which included taunts over the lack of BBC presence, marchers were in good spirits.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd outside the Scottish Parliament was a wide mix of ages.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Not all who took part wore Guy Fawkes masks.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Most of the crowd were well wrapped-up to guard against the night air chill.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Catalan independence flag flying as part of the protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police Scotland were conspicuous amongst the crowd, although not present in large numbers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Catalan independence flag flying as part of the protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some protesters self-identified as part of the 45% of the Scottish electorate who voted Yes to Independence.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Independence sentiment was highly-visible amongst protesters at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some banners were particularly direct with their message.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Several humorous Independence-related tropes were on display.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some banners were particularly direct with their message.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Several humorous Independence-related tropes were on display, although the protest was good-natured throughout.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Free paper masks were being handed out to those not prepared to buy mass-manufactured ones.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers whilst PA problems were sorted out.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Guy McV at the protest outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd walking across grassy area between Parliament and Queen’s Drive.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Kilted protester with Saltire mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Kilted protester with Saltire mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Banner with Scottish Parliament partially visible in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Much of the crowd treated the gathering at the Parliament like a party.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Attendee filming the event, with Parliament building in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Wrapped up against the cold, outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many draped themselves in Scotland’s flag, the Saltire.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Staring through a paper mask into the camera.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Not all present were overly-concerned with the cold weather.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters outside the Scottish Parliament after marching from Edinburgh Castle
Image: Brian McNeil.

Speakers address the assembled crowd after some technical difficulties with the PA system.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A documentary-maker films the protest speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A few of the collected donations intended for a local food bank.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many treated the protest more like a party.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protested, with beard jutting out below Guy Fawkes mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd listening to speakers at the Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.




Related news

  • “Scotland says ‘No’ in independence referendum” — Wikinews, September 19, 2014

Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Wikinews
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November 5, 2007

In pictures: UK celebrates Bonfire night

In pictures: UK celebrates Bonfire night

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Every year around November 5th, people in Great Britain and some parts of the Commonwealth celebrate Guy Fawkes night to commemorate the dissident from York and his Roman Catholic conspirators who failed to blow up the houses of Parliament on November 5, 1605. This so-called Gunpowder Plot is celebrated with firework displays and sparklers, bonfires and Guy Fawkes effigies.

Fire experts, always busy around this time of year, have called for the use of safe and legal firework displays and have urged citizens to attend organised public displays. Every year dozens of people sustain injuries due to careless handling of fireworks or fires. Notably, the city of York is not having a public firework display this year, as health and safety measures would raise costs excessively.

Events in Lewes, East Sussex (noted for Bonfire events and processions) were for the most part peacful, with only 16 arrests, mainly for public order offences. There had however been calls for certain tradtions of the Lewes events to be banned prior to the event on safety grounds.

Critics say that bonfires and fireworks are not environmentally friendly. Piles of wood prepared beforehand are attractive nests for hibernating creatures like hedgehogs, who might burn in the bonfires. Some even suggest that Fawkes’ failed attack is not something to commemorate at all.

Pictures

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Guy Fawkes night



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December 22, 2006

Minimum purchasing age of fireworks raised in New Zealand

Filed under: Archived,Guy Fawkes Night,New Zealand,Original reporting — admin @ 5:00 am

Minimum purchasing age of fireworks raised in New Zealand

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Friday, December 22, 2006

New Zealand
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The New Zealand government has announced that the new minimum purchasing age to buy fireworks in New Zealand is 18-years instead of the current age of 14-years. Also the amount of time fireworks are available for sale during Guy Fawkes has been restricted to three days before Guy Fawkes night instead of ten days. The New Zealand Fire Service has welcomed the new restrictions despite them calling for a complete ban.

The Environment minister, Honourable David Benson-Pope, said: “This aims to restrict young teenagers from purchasing these potentially harmful explosives, and to make the Guy Fawkes season less taxing for the Fire Service and Police. We want to see fireworks users behaving responsibly, being aware of and avoiding fire risk, guarding the personal safety of themselves and others, and being aware of the effect the noise has on animals.”

Further restrictions have also been announced which will ban the separate sale of sparklers. Sparklers will only be available for purchase in packs contained with other fireworks. This restriction is to try and prevent the dangerous, home-made “sparkler bombs.”

Mike Hall, chief executive of the New Zealand Fire Service, said that he is pleased with the new restrictions around the sale of fireworks. “I met with the minister in November and expressed the Fire Service’s concerns, and it’s good to see that some action has come out of that.”

In response to why the government had not banned the complete sale of fireworks, Hon Benson-Pope said: “I have listened to the various groups that do want a ban, and I am still open to that possibility in the future, but I believe the best approach at this stage is to tighten up the laws around sale.”

The government has asked the Environmental Risk Management Authority to investigate the fireworks available for purchase in regards to the style, design and the construction of the various fireworks. “…and next year government will consult with industry about new regulations in this area,” Hon Benson-Pope said.

Mr Hall said: “Obviously we won’t know whether or not the measures Mr Benson-Pope has introduced will go far enough until the Guy Fawkes period in 2007, but we certainly hope they will limit the chaos we have seen in the past couple of years.”

Hon Benson-Pope said: “Guy Fawkes is a fun event for thousands of families, and fireworks-related damage is caused by a small group of mostly young people. I don’t feel it’s fair on New Zealanders to ban fireworks sales at this stage because of the actions of a minority.”

“I understand the frustration the Police and Fire Service teams feel when faced with problems over Guy Fawkes, and I hope these new restrictions will send a message that deliberate harm or damage is criminal and is being clamped down on,” Mr Benson-Pope said.

The next Guy Fawkes day is November 5, 2007.

Gallery

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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November 6, 2006

Record amount of fires during New Zealand Guy Fawkes

Filed under: Archived,Guy Fawkes Night,New Zealand — admin @ 5:00 am

Record amount of fires during New Zealand Guy Fawkes

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Monday, November 6, 2006

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Violent reaction of sparkler. Photograph by Gabriel Pollard.

There were a record amount of fire calls during Guy Fawkes night, the festivities had emergency services stretched to the limit, a spokesman for the NZ Fire service said that it was “like driving through a war zone.” Despite this, no major structure fires were reported.

Preliminary numbers show that the amount of minor fires reported amounted to 1,729 between the period of October 27 and November 5. For the same period last year, 2005, there were only 1,632. Last year’s numbers were also record setting at the time. Over the Guy Fawkes weekend, November 4 – November 5, there were 784 reports of fires. The actual numbers will be released soon, as the false alarms and multiple reports are separated out. A safety campaign by the NZ Fire brigade advising the public to call 111 on the suspicion of any fire is expected to have increased the number of calls per incident. Discussions on the NZ volunteer firefighter’s mailing list suggest that the majority of bad behaviour occurred in urban areas.

The New Zealand police had to report to 423 reports of disorder in the top half on the North Island alone and in just seven hours. There was a fight which involved 40 people, in Whitianga; police were called to break up that fight and were also called to stop youths from getting fireworks from a shop. Also, in Tauranga, police were called to a fight party of 200 youths at 1.00 a.m. In Mount Albert, Auckland, police were forced to retreat and wait for reinforcements during an incident.

In Wellington, New Zealand, the police had to make 39 arrests, including assaults, disorderly behaviors and liquor ban breaches. The police said it was as bad as New Year’s Eve. “It was as busy as New Year’s Eve. It was one of the busiest nights we have had this year,” Sergeant Maggie Windle said, “Alcohol was a big factor in a lot of the arrests and a lot of the offending. We were dealing with the bulk of this mass disorder.”

Remarkably, the St John’s Ambulance Service reported only one serious firework related injury; a stabbing following an incident involving fireworks.

Mike Hall, chief executive/national commander of the New Zealand Fire Service, said: “The unfortunate result vindicates his call for a retail ban on fireworks, made last month. Despite warnings and a safety campaign, and even with parts of the country being much wetter than they were last year, firefighters were still called out more times than ever. That means that firefighters cannot respond as quickly as they would like to genuine emergencies, and thousands of volunteers across the country are needlessly called away from work and family commitments.”

The Government had previously warned the public that a ban on the public sale of fireworks would be enacted if behaviour was deemed unacceptable over the Guy Fawkes season.

Opinon polls indicate that the public is divided 50:50 over permitting the sale of fireworks, or wanting to see fireworks restricted to public displays or licensed operators. Mr. Hall said “the public are also sick of the danger to themselves, property and pets posed by misuse of fireworks, not to mention the late-night noise and mess associated with people letting off fireworks indiscriminately. The lack of a major fireworks-related fire or fatality at the weekend was pure luck.”

Allegedly Dunedin students were burning furniture in the streets.

Marian Hobbs, Member of Parliament, said that she has put in a bill to stop fireworks to be used by the public: “I’m not saying ban fireworks. I’m not a killjoy. But it does give us powers to stop what is dangerous, time-consuming and expensive. We have to make a start and put our foot down on this.”

Related news

  • “401st Guy Fawkes celebrated in Commonwealth” — Wikinews, November 5, 2006

Sources

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November 5, 2006

“Condi” effigy burned at Lewes Bonfire night

Sunday, November 5, 2006

The traditions of Bonfire Night peculiar to the Sussex area were once again observed in Lewes on November 4th.

Consistent with the town traditions in the East Sussex county of England, effigies of various figures were carried through the town, and later burnt. The effigies this year included George Bush, Condoleezza Rice (as Wonder Woman) and Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.

As per tradition and local fame, effigies were carried through the town and burned on huge fires. These include The Pope, Guy Fawkes and other unpopular figures. One of this year’s unfortunate guest appearances was also rendered as a hugely grotesque likeness of the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The unflattering effigy clutched a tattered U.S. flag in one hand, and a miniature Tony Blair in the other. Crowds shouted “Burn it!”.

Smaller scale effigies, and so called ‘enemies of bonfire’, were also represented. This year’s enemies included British Transport Police, whose attitude and handling of Bonfire night is an issue of local contention. Transport police were quietly represented by a pig head wearing a police helmet.

The event was not without incident. Six arrests occurred in respect of criminal damage and public order offences, but the event was less rowdy than in previous years and eras in the history of the Bonfire.

Superintendent Cliff Parrot of the Sussex Police said, “The event passed safely and was a resounding success with fewer arrests than last year, People were well behaved and acted responsibly, which in turn allowed everyone else to enjoy the celebrations.”

The steep streets of the small town, located one hour south of London, were filled during the chilly winter evening with crowds carrying burning torches, with police, and with alcohol consumption accompanied by loud deafening bangs. The air was thick with woodsmoke.

In addition to effigies, flaming crosses were carried in recognition of the town’s 17 Protestant Martyrs. These preceded elaborate costumed parades where participants dressed as Vikings, Antique firemen, Mongol warriors, and Zulus (including for the first time at Lewes, a female chieftain). Arthurian Knights and pirates were also featured. The pirates towed a cannon which they fired and shocked the crowds.

The traditonal striped jerseys worn by various Bonfire Society members were also in evidence.

Sources

  • “BLAST OFF FOR BUSH AT BONFIRE”. lewestoday.co.uk, November 6, 2006
  • “Lewes Borough Bonfire Society”. LBBS, November, 2006


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