In this edition : The blogosphere comments upon the fresh clashes between supporters and opponents of the Iranian regime ; Thirty years since the USSR invaded Afghanistan, the web remembers ; And musicians from 156 different countries gather to combat AIDS with music.
VIOLENT PROTESTS IN IRAN
In Iran, fresh protests by the opposition, who are still disputing the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, were violently repressed this weekend on the fringes of the Shiite festival of Ashura. According to reformist websites, at least four protesters were killed on Sunday during clashes between opponents and security forces.
In this video, filmed on Saturday evening, men burst into a room where the former reformist President Mohammad Khatami was giving a speech. Presented by net users as plain clothed police officers, we hear them shout slogans praising the name of Ayatollah Ali Khameini, the regime’s supreme authority.
The streets of the capital were filled with blood and flames. These images were filmed after the security forces allegedly fired into a crowd of opponents, gathered at this cross road in Teheran. According to the video’s author, they show the body of a victim being carried through the streets by demonstrators.
Elsewhere in the city, security forces were targeted, as seemingly shown in these other videos. According to the net user who posted them online, we see protesters rough-handling militiamen while their motorbikes are set alight.
Meanwhile the Government attempted in vain to prevent the opposition from gathering momentum and communicating, by limiting web access and by pirating reformist sites.
USSR IN AFGHANISTAN: 30 YEARS AGO
Thirty years ago, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan. The entire world denounced the USSR’s violent action against the small nation. Military intervention that lasted nine years.
Online, several films and photomontages such as this were posted online for the occasion. Images retracing the bloody conflict, which resulted in Russian humiliation.
And the comparison with the current situation in the country is inevitable. The company Brave New Films, which produces videos for the web and is in favour of an end to the Afghanistan was, has posted this documentary online. Several Soviet veterans as well as Afghan leaders from the era have been interviewed. The message being that the Americans are repeating the errors committed by the Soviets.
The author of this post points out the differences in context between the two conflicts. He remarks that NATO benefits from greater international support than the red army. Furthermore, he recalls that at the time, Moudjahidines were financed and equipped by the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan whereas today, they can rely only on themselves.
Online, many Jihadists continue to praise the activity of the Moudjahiddines during this war. Using these images to encourage people to wage holy war, they declare that the US will fail, just like the USSR at the time.
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FAVOURITE WEBSITE AWARDS
January will mark the tenth year that ‘The Favourite Website Awards’ have been selecting the best website each day and displaying it on their home page. In exchange, the chosen site can display a yellow banner. An award that generates on average 10,000 extra visitors.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Raising public awareness to the devastation caused by the AIDS virus in Africa by inviting singers and musicians from around the world to sing a simultaneous rendition of ‘All you need is love’ by the Beatles. This was the aim of this campaign, which brought together participants from 156 countries for the occasion.