Calls to hold Shell accountable for oil pollution in Nigeria. British web users report on the student protests in London. And take a virtual walk through gardens and parks the world over with Google Street View.
Oil pollution in Nigeria
Christian Lekoya Kpandei used to be a fish farmer in Bodo, Nigeria. He had a work force of around ten people or so, but in 2008 he lost everything when two spate ruptures on a Shell pipeline caused an environmental disaster in the Niger Delta. This video was posted online by Amnesty International and describes how the disaster has affected the people living there. The NGO is now urging the oil company to set up a 1 billion dollar clean-up fund; the Niger Delta has been suffering from massive oil pollution for some years now.
Last August the Anglo-Dutch company acknowledged its role in the 2008 disaster but says the majority of oil spills in this region are caused by oil thieves sabotaging the pipelines. And to prove it, Shell recently began uploading sets of data on to a website which is updated on a regular basis. The reports and photographs detail every oil spill investigated by the company this year.
But this bid for transparency has done nothing to improve the image Nigerian activists have of the oil giant. Blogger Sokari Ekine is accusing Shell of paying armed groups to maintain a climate of terror in the area, and says dozens of people have been killed.
This online petition addressed to President Jonathan Goodluck is calling upon the Nigerian authorities to hold Shell accountable for the ecological damage caused and the human rights abuses facilitated. The document has been signed by close to 15 000 people.
Students protest in London
As we can see in these pieces of amateur footage which are currently circulating on sharing sites, thousands of British students marched through London on Wednesday to protest cuts to public spending and a big increase in university tuition fees. The web is playing an essential role in the coordination of this protest movement.
The demonstration was announced on the “National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts” website, with activists encouraging citizens to protest against the austerity measures put in place by David Cameron’s government. Wednesday’s protests appear to be part of a long term strategy as an appeal for fresh demonstrations on the 23rd November has already been posted on the site.
These rallies come one year after similar protests degenerated when demonstrators turned out en masse in the streets of the British capital. As we can see in these shots available online, there was a heavy police presence on Wednesday, to avoid this happening again.
The Metropolitan Police Commander David Zinzan had even released this video online urging those taking part in the 9th November demonstration to protest peacefully. He also reminded demonstrators that his men had been authorized to use rubber bullets if need be.
Although it would appear the majority of demonstrators heeded his message, there were some confrontations; there have been a number of tweets about protesters being arrested by police.
Google Street View tours parks of the world
The Kirstenbosh botanical gardens in South Africa, the High Line in New York City and also Koganei Park in Japan… Google Street View is now offering panoramic views of some of the world’s most stunning gardens. Google employees spent an entire year riding up and down these beautiful green spaces, on this tricycle which is equipped with cameras. They travelled to 22 countries and the results of their work have now gone live, meaning web users can take a virtual walk and enjoy the wonderful surroundings.
Now trending on social networks
News of the arrest of Greek businessman Makis Psomiadis in Skopje, Macedonia, on Wednesday has spread across the web like wildfire. This former football club owner is alleged to be at the center of a large match fixing ring. In his country he is known as “Big Mac” and for many Greeks he is a symbol of the endemic corruption believed to one of the main causes of the current debt crisis. And so it’s with irony that some web users are suggesting the 55 year old would make a great Prime Minister for Greece.
Video of the day
This Korean man is an outstanding boomerang thrower! And in this video which is currently doing the rounds on sharing sites, we see him aiming for all sorts of targets, displaying amazing concentration and precision…