"Gradually over the centuries, the meaning of Guy Fawkes has dramatically changed," said Call. "The reputation of Guy Fawkes has been recuperated. Before he was originally seen as a terrorist trying to destroy England. Now he's seen more as a freedom fighter, a fighter for individual liberty against an oppressive regime. The political meaning of that figure has transformed."
Lewis Call, an assistant history professor at California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo, said the masked protesters are adopting a powerful symbol that has shifted meaning through the centuries.