Two Egyptian bloggers may face military justice. American web users rally support for Scott Olsen, an activist injured during an « Occupy » protest. And the release of Steve Jobs’ biography parodied by Taiwanese animation studio NMA.
Egypt: two bloggers may face military justice
Many bloggers have been expressing concern over two Egyptian cyber activists who may be facing military justice. Alaa Abd el Fattah, one of Egypt’s most prominent bloggers, appeared before a military court on Sunday, along with activist Bahaa Sabre who was released on bail.
They both refused to answer questions from a military prosecutor as part of an investigation into the violent clashes which erupted at a Coptic protest they attended on the 9th of October in which at least 25 people died and over 300 others were injured. Both of the men had helped the protesters by driving the wounded to hospital.
Alaa Abd el Fattah had written on Twitter that he would probably be charged with inciting violence and destruction of public property. The prosecution claims to have video evidence, apparently submitted by a pro-Mubarak blogger who goes under the name “Ahmed Spider” and who had posted a video online in which he accuses Alla Abd el Fattah of taking part in the violence that broke out on the 9th October.
This case has revived an online campaign against these military tribunals in Egypt. Activists say the army has not moved on from the repressive ways of the former regime and claim near to 12 000 civilians have been summoned to appear before military courts since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. One of them was the blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad who was sentenced to three years in prison for criticizing the army; he has been on hunger strike since the 23 of August to protest his confinement.
Scott Olsen, the "martyr" of the Occupy movement
Scott Olsen was seriously injured when a police projectile struck him in the head as he peacefully participated in an Occupy Oakland march, in California on the 25th October. He has unwittingly become a symbol of the police repression of the "Occupy" movement against corporate greed which began in the US over a month ago.
A number of videos filmed moments before Olsen was wounded emerged online shortly after the incident. They show the 24 year old Iraq War Veteran wearing his marine jacket and protesting in the vicinity of a police line. It is not possible to identify the person responsible for his injury from the footage, but activists say it proves he never provoked the police and it was therefore a completely unjustified attack.
Online campaigning for Olsen began almost immediately. A Facebook group called “We are all Scott Olsen” has been set up so that web users can post messages of support for the former marine who remains in hospital but whose condition has stabilized. The page has drawn around 9 000 members and is seeking to denounce the police’s violent repression of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement which began in New York but has since spread to the rest of the country.
The site "Occupy Together" describes itself as a showcase for all the « Occupy » movements taking place across the US and has called upon demonstrators to organize candle lit vigils for Scott Olsen. As we can see in these videos there has been a great response to this appeal right across the country.
Veteran organizations have also been taking action and have organized online appeals to raise money to pay for the young man’s medical expenses. The online community has been very moved by this story: A member of informal hacker group Anonymous is even offering a 1 000 dollar reward for any information which could help identify the officer who fired at Scott Olsen.
Fit to fat to fit
Drew Manning is an American fitness instructor and on the 7th of May he set himself an unlikely challenge. He decided to put on as much weight as possible over a 6 month period before embarking on a strict diet for the following six months. His aim is to show web users how easy it can be to lose weight and prove that with time and determination, you can get your dream body.
Sweaters for penguins
Two weeks ago a cargo ship ran aground in an area of northern New Zealand famed for its rich biodiversity, prompting an oil spill which has affected hundreds of birds. To try and limit the damage caused by this environmental disaster, a local yarn store launched an online appeal, asking web users to knit little jumpers for the oil covered penguins. After being rescued and cleaned up at a wildlife center, the wooly tops will keep the penguins warm as they regain their strength.
Video of the day
Taiwan based animation studio NMA, which specializes in making satirical videos inspired by current affairs has produced this clip for the release of the biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who died at the beginning of October. It’s fun to watch and highlights the principle anecdotes and revelations that feature in Walter Isaacson’s book, like his strong desire to destroy Google’s Android operating system.