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THE OBSERVERS

A show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from our Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris. Saturday at 10.15 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2011-10-11

Maoists worry China, gay soldiers come out, and more

This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.

STORY 1: CHINA

We begin with a story from China, and the father of the Communist nation, Mao Tse-Tung. He died 35 years ago, and the country has moved in a very different direction. He still has many followers, and the current Party tolerates them. But only if they stay within limits. When they want to get their message out in the streets, for instance, they're quickly reminded that their hero is no longer a sacred figure to the nation.


We head to Shanghai with Hua Qiao, a fervent Maoist, who asked us to diguise his identity.

STORY 2: WORLD


Next up, a look at some of our Observers around the world who've been speaking up for what they believe in. 

USA

First stop, New York, with Harrison Shultz, a pHD student and marketing analyst. He has joined hundreds of others at a rolling protest on Wall Street. They've been squatting a park just around the corner from the New York Stock Exchange to denounce poverty, unemployment, social injustice, and the death penalty. Harrison says they've been inspired by the Arab Spring revolutions. He knows they're not going to bring down Wall Street in just a few days, but that's not a problem. He has plenty of time.

SPAIN/FRANCE

Now for another Observer who's protesting social inequality, this time Veronica Leandres, a Spanish artist, who brought her passions here to Paris. She's part of the indignados movement - "the indignant ones". They started in Spain, but Veronica and a few of her comrades decided to take it to Paris to wake up the French. But it's not happening. Veronica tells us she's been very disappointed by Parisians' reaction. They have no dreams, and focus only on their own petty problems, she says. When she's been trying to get her message across, she's felt less than welcome.

USA

Now another young person speaking his mind back in the United States: Randy Philips, a soldier who did a brave thing. It happened when President Barack Obama ended the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy - finally allowing gays to serve in the military openly. To mark the occasion, Randy staged his own personal coming-out to his father.

PHILIPPINES

Our last stop today is Manila, capital of the Philippines, with Carla. She tells us about a new technique Filipinos have found of showing their resentment at their government's budget cuts. They've taken an internet phenomenon called "planking," and made it political. Planking means lying down, face to the ground, and - normally - posting a picture online. But the Filipinos do it until the authorities intervene. They do it with a sense of humour, but the police, and some politicians, don't appreciate it. One MP even wants to ban the practice.

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A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris.

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A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris.

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