Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration - whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday - I thought we could mark this November the fifth, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.
There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now orders are being shouted into telephones and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?
Cruelty and injustice...intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told...if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.
I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic, you turned to the now High Chancellor Adam Sutler. He promised you order. He promised you peace. And all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.
Last night, I sought to end that silence. Last night, I destroyed the Old Bailey to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago, a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words - they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek...then I ask you to stand beside me, one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament. And together, we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever, be forgot! V for Vendetta is a 2005 dystopian political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by The Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1988 DC/Vertigo Comics limited series of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The film is set in an alternative future where a neo-fascist regime has subjugated the United Kingdom. Hugo Weaving portrays V, an anarchist freedom fighter who attempts to ignite a revolution through elaborate terrorist acts, and Natalie Portman plays Evey, a young, working-class woman caught up in V's mission, while Stephen Rea portrays the detective leading a desperate quest to stop V. The film was originally scheduled for release by Warner Bros. on Friday, November 4, 2005, (a day before the 400th Guy Fawkes Night), but was delayed; it opened on March 17, 2006, to positive reviews. Alan Moore, having been dissatisfied with the film adaptations of his other works From Hell (2001) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), declined to watch the film and asked not to be credited or paid royalties. V for Vendetta has been seen by many political groups as an allegory of oppression by government; libertarians and anarchists have used it to promote their beliefs. David Lloyd stated: "The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I'm happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way." As well as promotional items created to publicise the film (which included a shoulder bag and bust of "V"'s Guy Fawkes mask), replicas of the mask and action figures were released. Figures released by NECA include a 12-inch (30 cm) action figure which speaks phrases from the film, a 12-inch resin statue and a seven-inch (17 cm) figure.