Their masks — white with contrasting black facial features — made them stand out as motorists sped by.
They are Anonymous.
They are a small representation — about a dozen strong — of a large worldwide movement.
The Anonymous movement is all about protecting freedoms, civil liberties, and fighting back against the surveillance and tyranny of governments.
In this case, on Feb. 11, our Tri-Cities Anonymous participants protested against the National Security Agency’s mass cellphone surveillance upon its own people.
The NSA surveillance, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg of the freedoms and liberties that have been stripped away from citizens under a cunningly named Patriot Act. It’s tough to stand against an act that conjures the image of patriots fighting for our country’s freedoms.
But the Patriot Act itself is anything but patriotic, and our civil liberties and freedoms have slowly — or quickly, in some cases — disintegrated ever since it was enacted in the name of protecting our populace.
Anonymous gets it. And Anonymous — no matter how small its numbers are here in West Michigan — is at least doing something about it.
We commend those who stand up for their beliefs, whatever they may be, and urge all citizens to do their part by writing or calling legislators. Let our representatives know what you think about the NSA surveillance, or other lost freedoms.
One Anonymous member stated their mission succinctly with “Freedom forever!” That’s not at all a bad thing to which we all need to strive, and sometimes the biggest movements start small.
We wish you well, Anonymous.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.