The youth of Gaza vent their anger online. Theories to explain the death of thousands of birds are multiplying on the web in the US. And Radiohead has made a Haiti benefit concert available for download.
GAZA YOUTH MANIFESTO
"Fed up with Israel, fed up with Hamas, fed up with the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community". an anonymous group of young activists from the Gaza strip is venting its anger in this manifesto, published on Facebook. The document, written in very colourful language, denounces Hamas repression, Israel’s attacks, as well as political games played by Fatah and the UN. The manifesto ends with these three demands: “we want to be free, we want to be able to live a normal life and we want peace. Is that too much to ask?".
Ever since it was posted online mid-December, the document has been translated into a dozen or so languages and has gained support from thousands of web users across the globe.
The manifesto expresses particular indignation over Hamas’ decision on the 30th of November to close down the Sharek Youth Forum organization. The pressure placed upon this NGO for young Gazans has been detailed in chronological order and is available to read on the activists’ web site.
One of its projects, called "Youth Journalists for Human Rights" was reportedly one of the aspects of the program that Hamas did not like. The project was aimed at teaching students how to use a video camera to make short films with a human rights theme. A dozen or so were posted online last May. These films denounce, amongst other things, the arbitrary beatings carried out by Hamas soldiers and also the lack of access to running water in the Gaza strip.
USA: DEAD BIRD MYSTERY
100 000 fish were found dead in a river and 5 000 birds plunged to their deaths in the US state of Arkansas last week and then on Tuesday hundreds of birds fell out of the sky in Louisiana. These events have yet to be explained and have grabbed the attention of web users and all sorts of theories are circulating on the web.
The subject has not gone unnoticed on the local web, and « dead birds » and « birds fall from the sky » were amongst the ten most popular search terms on Google USA at the beginning of the week.
Scores of Americans have pounced upon their web cams to try and find an explanation for this strange phenomenon. This video blogger, who goes under the name of “Smokin Joe Trainer” has two theories: he thinks the birds were victims of an electromagnetic wave, or they passed through a cloud of toxic gas, which killed them immediately.
This woman claims it could be due to a new weapon developed by the army. She has read accounts from residents of Arkansas who reportedly heard muffled sounds from the sky several moments before the birds fell, and so she thinks this is a plausible explanation.
But for others like priest Paul Begley, the death of all these animals is down to something much more mystical. He thinks a bible prophesy has come true and that all these events are warnings that the end of the world is near.
Finally, some web users like this South Carolina resident are questioning the reason given so far by the Arkansas authorities: they believe the birds were traumatized by the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. He does not think this is a very credible hypothesis, as there would be cases like this every year with the Independence Day and New Year celebrations.
LIKE A LITTLE
Following on from social networks where you can make friends or find a job, here’s one that helps you find love at University. The principle of “LikeALittle.com” is particularly simple: you see a stranger in the lecture room, your eyes meet, but you do not dare approach them. On the site, you can leave an anonymous message and see if the person comes forward. The network is now available in 500 universities in North America.
RADIOHEAD’S HAITI RELIEF CONCERT
After the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010, Radiohead gave a concert in Los Angeles in support of the victims. One year on, and fans have collected mobile phone footage from this benefit concert and put together a DVD that is available for free download. The musicians are asking web users to donate the amount of their choice for each download. Donations will be transferred directly to the NGO Oxfam America.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Here’s a particularly impressive video made by Corridor Digital studios. Its creators have imagined a fight between two men that begins in the real world and ends on the walls of a building in the form of graffiti. The protagonists develop super powers and battle it out in a merciless fight using all the décor at their disposal. This extremely well made animation is called “Graphic Violence”.