Today is Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, where a group of Catholic dissidents, including Fawkes, planned to assassinate Protestant King James I and reinstate a Catholic head of state. In popular culture, however, Guy Fawkes Day and notably the Guy Fawkes mask have come to celebrate broader protest against the government and establishment.
One place where the ideas behind the mask were expertly embodied was 1980s Warsaw, Poland, where citizens organized an underground radio station in opposition to the oppressive communist government. In the video below, Georgetown Professor Peter Jaworski explains his family’s role in Warsaw’s blinking lights. Guy Fawkes would be proud.