Remember, remember, the 5th of November – why we should celebrate Guy Fawkes



Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I see of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot

The original meaning of Guy Fawkes Day as a day to celebrate King James not being blown to smithereens by fanatical Catholics has been forever re-set in the popular imagination of the next generation by the fabulous ‘V for Vendetta’.

While holding no meaning in a modern society not riven by religious schisms, The 5th of November can be a popular celebration for the spirit of revolution. In the immortal words of the ‘V’ character, “people should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people”.

In times where the mass surveillance state is bordering on the authoritarian and fascist, the spirt of Revolution must be fostered for symbolic purposes to keep the passion for Democracy alive. V for Vendetta inspired an entire aesthetic for the Anonymous movement and in a country where little true culture beyond consumer consumption is ever commemorated, let’s take back the 5th of November and refuse to hand in our fireworks.

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Nothing smells sweeter on a faint Summer night crisp with the aroma of cut grass than the blistering burn of gunpowder in the back of your throat in these times of big brother spying Governments.

This being the date when the Parihaka war crime was committed against peaceful Maori makes the need for a celebration to resist even more important to us as NZers. 

Let’s keep the 5th of November and celebrate with our friends and comrades that we have the means to gather in public and keep authorities weary. That is worth celebrating.


  1. It remains a hegemonic, anti-Catholic “tradition” that should be dropped entirely. In the UK discrimination against Catholic is not only tolerated: it’s the law of the land.

    • well said. I feel the same is true of America where anti-semetism is against the law but you can say anything about Catholicism. Just go on u-tube and observe it yourself. I would like to keep Guy Fawkes and lose Halloween before it gets a foot hold. We seem to be fast moving towards a world that’s one big America. YUUUCCCKK!!!!!!!

      • Well, that’s not going to happen! Halloween is the older festival, which is based on celebrating seasonal change, as winter approaches… GF is an English event, of dubious origins, thus it’ll never surpass Halloween. Halloween/Samhain is Gaelic, the Irish/Scots immigrants introduced it into the US, that’s how it evolved into what I deem the ‘Hallmark’ version it is today. I celebrate the original Samhain, which is also gaining in popularity, as people naturally, want to reconnect with nature.

        • The 5 of November is Parihaka Day. Lest we forget:

          All Hallow’s Eve is an ancient celebration of the *autumn*. Halloween is an invention of USAmerican capitalism, created like other Hallmark holidays to sell more candy and other commodities. Neither are relevant in Aotearoa in spring.

          Guy Fawkes, like the NZ Army and Police, was a foot soldier for monarchy. By all means, let’s celebrate his failure, and look forward to similar failures to defend monarchy in this country.

    • Why should we not discriminate against those that hate everything but themselves? -Signed, a woman tired of religious control.

  2. Meanwhile here in Aotearoa Nov 5 is Parihaka day. The issues and legacy of colonisation and its attendant miseries are far more relevant to us, and the visionary and inspirational responses of Te Whiti and Tohu are more empowering than a Hollywood-inspired “movement” even if it does have cool masks. Plus, dogs hate fireworks, and I like dogs.

    • V for Vendetta was not “Hollywood inspired”, the graphic novel written by Alan Moore was inspiring people long before the Matrix brothers made the watered down film version. In Moore’s story, V is an anarchist, and Evey isn’t a simpering love interest, she becomes the new V who appears on the day the original V is blown up with the parliament buildings.

      Important to note that in the story, parliament is only a symbol of power which has been usurped by the Party. Sound familiar?

  3. So what are you advocating here? Blowing ourselves, our neighbours and our pets up with fireworks as part of some impotent defiance against our authoritarian system?

    Please don’t listen to this tomfoolery. Stay inside, cuddle your scared cat, and read a book on socialism, Marxism, or just general political activism, and resolve to actually engage in meaningful political activism, rather than juvenile light shows.

  4. Also don’t forget November 9th as that is the day the Berlin Wall fell spelling the end of that horrible political philosophy Marxism. That should be celebrated as it was the beginning of freedom for millions of Eastern Europeans.

      • I keep seeing leftists stating this yet funnily eniugh I’m pretty sure the people in power in the Soviet bloc also studied Marx and weren’t complete brainless automons.

        The same leftists who claim the Soviet bloc wasn’t really Marxist usually have no problem defending places like Cuba which basically follow the same Statist Socialism as the old Soviet blic with the same inherent flaws.

        Marx was an idiot in relation to comprehending economics jn action. You just need to look at his labour value if profit theory to see that. It shows the understanding of a primary school kid.

        • The USSR was Stalinist, not Marxist. And it started off as Leninist.

          It’s the RWNJs that don’t realise that there’s a difference between them.

  5. My opinion in my poem.

    The Frightful Fiery Fifth.

    Remember, remember
    that Guy Fawkes terrifies politicians

    the fifth of November,
    terrifies firefighters.

    terrifies terrifying dogs

    terrifies talk back radio listeners

    and the plot.
    is what has been lost.

    I see no reason
    why everyone has to be punished

    English heritage is no longer culture

    and gunpowder treason
    of great historical and personal significance

    should ever be forgot………
    J Panting 13/11 07

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