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Latest update : 2010-12-22

The Ivorian web echoes the ongoing tensions in Abidjan

The Ivorian web echoes the ongoing tensions in Abidjan. The "Secure Communities" program sparks controversy in New York. And Jib jab is proposing a recap of 2010.

IVORY COAST: TENSIONS IN ABIDJAN 

This video shows the army, which has remained loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, taking harsh action against pro-Ouattara demonstrators: violent clashes that have reportedly left at least one person dead. These images are not available on the censored local media, but citizens are relaying them online to help illustrate the tense climate that continues to reign in Ivory Coast’s economic capital. For many residents of Abidjan, the web has indeed become the only way to share eye witness accounts and obtain reliable information on the situation in the country.

Videos that allegedly show pro-Gbagbo soldiers committing brutal acts are multiplying on the web. One anonymous web user has posted these images online in which a demonstrator appears to have been left to die in the street after being beaten up by the police.  

Twitter is also being used as a platform to relay all sorts of rumours. Sanders 225 talks of the death squad that reportedly intervened in neighbourhoods were Ouattara supporters lived. Kanateecs claims that Liberian mercenaries have joined forces with Laurent Gbagbo and are apparently attacking his opponents.

In view of these accusations, Gbagbo’s supporters have decided to respond and are using the web to do so, as we see in this video which shows a mass demonstration organized in Abidjan this weekend by supporters of the outgoing President. Their objective was to convince international public opinion that the majority of Ivorian people support him. 

This support is also being expressed abroad. Numerous pro-Gbagbo rallies have been organized in Europe and in London in particular where demonstrators are calling upon the UN and France to leave Ivory Coast and let Laurent Gbagbo govern in peace. 

USA: MOBILISATION TO RESCIND SECURE COMMUNITIES PROGRAM  

Immigrants living in New York are angry and are making it known. As we see in these images filmed last week, dozens of immigrants along with various NGOs gathered in front of David Paterson’s offices to convince the governor of New York to end the State’s participation in the Secure Communities program. This controversial measure, in force in 34 states, allows police to forward information on people they arrest to the Immigration services with a view to identify and deport illegal immigrants.

This sharing of information is only meant to apply to serious crimes but critics of this measure are concerned about the potential consequences. According to the site “feet in two worlds”, it has in fact led to the deportation of immigrants who were arrested for minor offenses or who were not even been charged with a crime.

Adam, an Ecuadorian living in New York thinks these fears are largely justified. His account was posted on the site “Deportation Nation”. He says that two of his friends, whose only crime was not having ID on them, were sent back to their country of origin after local police carried out a simple identity check.

The situation has prompted NGO « Standing on the side of love » to launch an online campaign. Citizens are being asked to send an email to President Barack Obama, asking him to halt this program which is considered as dangerous and seen to promote racial profiling.

Ydanis Rodriguez, an elected representative for the City of New York, agrees and says here that as long as this program remains in force, innocent people are in danger of being deported.

FACEBOOK MAP 

This world map developed by a Facebook intern shows the friendships that have been created across the world. This map uses luminous threads to demonstrate the areas where members of the social network are the most active like North America and Western Europe. The map also shows which countries have few members, like Russia and also China where Facebook is forbidden.

GOOGLE NGRAMS 

On Google Ngrams you can retrace the history of a word. You can study hundreds of thousands of words used in 5 million books published since 1800. Available in several languages, this application allows you to see how the word was used in a particular period and also look at developments in the language. This is part of the project set up by the Mountain View company to digitize all the books that have ever been published. 

VIDEO OF THE DAY 

This video looks at the memorable moments of 2010 in the US and the world over … as is the case every year, American web site Jib Jab has posted a video to celebrate the New Year. For the transition into 2011 our hosts are President Barack Obama and his vice president Joe Biden. Health reform in the US, the Icelandic volcano, the oil spill in Louisiana and also the Wikileaks scandal … they cover more or less everything.

By Electron Libre

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