The faceless, decentralised on-line community known as “Anonymous” posted a video on YouTube on Monday declaring war against the international banking system in a movement it is calling “Operation Empire State Rebellion”.
In the video, Anonymous explains how this movement would involve a “relentless campaign of nonviolent, peaceful civil disobedience” until its demands are met. These demands begin with the resignation of Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, but ultimately it seeks to “break up the global banking cartel centered at the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlements and World Bank”.
This is the most ambitious goal yet to be set by Anonymous in what is turning out to be a watershed year for online activism. From highly-publicised attacks against the enemies of WikiLeaks to strategic DDOS attacks on Middle Eastern dictatorships and a strategic humiliation of online security firm HBGary, the “hacktivist” group has gone from strength to strength.
Clearly, it’s showing tremendous strength and confidence in taking on the might of the international financial system, and the group must believe that it has the weight of public opinion behind it. Anonymous has also been actively recruiting members through its Tumblr blog, and Twitter hashtag #OpNewBlood.
The move against giant financial institutions has already begun, according to the New American, which reported that “earlier this week, Anonymous released a series of e-mails allegedly showing that Bank of America was regularly engaging in fraud and criminal activity”.
The ties between Anonymous and WikiLeaks are not clear, but both organisations claim to have information that will do tremendous damage to some major global financial institutions.
It seems obvious that the Federal Reserve will not bow to Anonymous’ demands, and neither will the online group back down. We can expect some fireworks in the near future.