DENVER — Men donning Guy Fawkes masks have been handing out leaflets downtown to organize a peaceful march for change here.
It's called the Million Mask March, scheduled for Nov. 5, and Denver is one of many cities around the world where the group Anonymous is drumming up support for its cause.
The march's mission statement is "to remind this country what it has forgotten. That fairness, justice, and freedom are more than just words."
The leaflets suggest the group is in favor of government reform, education, constitutional rights, nutrition, "respect for all of mankind" and "waking the people" while tackling corruption, GMOs and violence.
Based on postings on the event's official Facebook page and a Word Press blog, the Million Mask March started as a wake-up call in the United States but it has caught fire worldwide with organization taking place in several other countries such as Brazil, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and more.
"This will make history" someone with the handle "Rising Anons" wrote.
The leaflets and the messages on the Million Mask March websites stress that "absolutely no violence will be tolerated" and that any weapons — even ones intended for self defense — will not be allowed.
Even so, several expected participants have written that they fear government retaliation and potential violence initiated by the police.
Anonymous — a shadowy network of computer hackers and freewheeling political activists — says it will send medics to provide emergency medical care for anyone who might need it during the march.
The group has been behind a number of highly publicized cyber attacks on various government, corporate and religious institutions. Members have been called "digital Robin Hoods" and "cyber terrorists."
But many of them are simply mothers, fathers and middle-class workers.
"It's tough to keep working and protesting and putting ourselves out there," Mickie Parker wrote on the Million Mask March page, "only to see local and federal laws become more and more repressive. .. masks will be illegal and cause for arrest. It's especially hard when it can put your livelihood in jeopardy and/or when you are a parent and don't want to chance making life worse for your children by 'making trouble.'"
The march coincides with Election Day in the United States.
The leaflets ask participants to be respectful, noting that children may be present.
No drugs or alcohol will be tolerated either, they say.
In Denver, the march is set to begin at 9 a.m. at 200 E. Colfax Ave.
Members of the march are asked to wear Guy Fawkes masks, which feature a white face with a wide, mischievous mustached grin, pink cheeks and black goatee. The masks depict Fawkes, who unsuccessfully tried to blow up London's House of Lords in 1605. Designed by illustrator David Lloyd, the mask has become a symbol of protest made famous in the 1982 "V for Vendetta" comic book and its adaptation to film in the 2005 movie by the same name. "We need to impress. So dress your best," the leaflets say.