The fifth of November.
So go the opening lines from a 19th Century English folk verse that recounts a foiled treasonous plot. The verse goes on to describe how, in 1605, Guy Fawkes and his cohorts tried to blow up the British Parliament and king.
It’s a phrase the hacker collective known as Anonymous has co-opted. Inspired by its use from the movie V for Vendetta, the hacktivist group unleashes its various furies each year on Nov. 5 to align itself with a sort of freedom-fighter spirit it says motivates many of its campaigns.
Under the #OpKKK and #HoodsOff hashtags, Anonymous has targeted the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) as one recipient of its wrath and has promised to post online a list of names and personal information of people associated with the KKK on Nov. 5.
Anonymous claims 1,000 names will be released that day.
The move is similar to a campaign Anonymous launched last year in the wake of the Ferguson, Mo., protests.
Unfortunate timing for ‘prank’ gone awry
Anonymous’ mission this Nov. 5 seems particularly relevant in Oklahoma given the recent KKK “prank” carried out Oct. 31 in Lahoma, a town of about 600 in Garfield County.
Cary Sharp, husband of Lahoma mayor Theresa Sharp, claims he was drinking beers with his buddies around a campfire when the idea to dress up as klansmen just kind of came to them. They went so far as to simulate the act of burning a cross, as depicted in a widely distributed photo, but the cross was never actually burned.
Mayor Sharp has since condemned the prank, but the District Attorney’s office will review the report from the Garfield County sheriff’s office, according to the News 9 story linked above.
Without a doubt, members of Anonymous have taken note of the Oklahoma incident, but the rest of us will have to wait until Thursday to see if the Sharps make the group’s full list. (About a dozen names of U.S. senators and mayors from several states were already posted Oct. 31 by Amped Attacks, a lone hacktivist who launched his own offensive against KKK-affiliated websites and the Westboro Baptist Church.)
NonDoc has chosen not to post the names here at this time owing to a lack of concrete evidence supporting the allegations.
‘Hate Map’ lists no KKK groups in Oklahoma
Notably, in Oklahoma, KKK groups are absent on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate map, although other active hate groups do appear. Several KKK chapters are listed nearby in Arkansas and Texas.
A KKK chapter in Harrison, Ark., made headlines at the start of 2015 by putting up a white-pride billboard and launching an online radio station.
So, remember, on Nov. 5, a 21st Century digital powderkeg could blow. The public, however, would be wise to reserve judgment until full facts are available.