A protester wears a face mask with an open zip and the slogan "We Won't Be Silenced"

An unzippered face mask declares "We Won't Be Silenced" during a protest for Palestinian rights

Masks were not new on London's streets or at the protests and events I frequently photograph—not everyone wants to breathe the highly polluted air or to be identified by police—but the Covid-19 pandemic saw their widespread adoption as protection against the virus, sometimes legally enforced, and activists were quick to grasp their potential as a new space on which to spread their message and, sometimes, a few laughs along the way. — RF
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