In the USA, the Occupy Movement targets foreclosed properties. Online reports of the protests in Saudi Arabia. And Karl Lagerfeld is trending on social networks.
USA: Occupy movement targets foreclosed properties
Debbie and Ron Austin are no longer able to pay off their real estate loan. They are on the brink of being evicted from their house in Portland, but in this video they affirm they will not be leaving their home. They are staying put and they have got the Occupy movement to back them up.
On Tuesday, “Occupy” activists from all over the United States, took part in demonstrations against home seizures, making their way to foreclosed properties and houses which have remained vacant since being taken over by financial institutions.
In New York, the Occupy Wall Street protesters took over a house in Brooklyn which had been empty for the past three years. As blogger Javier Soriano says, the activists went on to help Alfredo Carrasquillo, his wife and their two children move in to this house. This family had been left homeless after the council decided to block housing benefits as part of the city’s austerity plan.
Carolyn Gage is one of the organizers of the San Francisco movement against home evictions. In this video she condemns the foreclosures, saying the banks have been bailed out with billions of dollars of tax payers’ money.
And people threatened with expulsion have been sharing their stories online, and on this site in particular where they can also ask for “Occupy” activists’ help in protecting their home. The movement is called “Occupy our Home” and is set to gain ground across the US in the days to come.
Protests in Saudi Arabia
A number of countries in the Maghreb and Middle East have been gripped by unrest in recent months, but is the wave of protests about to reach Saudi Arabia, which up until now has been relatively spared from the Arab Spring? There have been a growing number of anti-regime demonstrations, and in particular in the eastern city of Qatif.
As we can see in this amateur video footage which is doing the rounds on sharing sites, there have been numerous rallies in the predominantly Shiite city of Qatif, over the past few weeks. Protesters have been chanting slogans attacking the ruling Sunni Royal family, and demanding political reforms. Most demonstrators cover their faces to avoid being punished by the authorities as public protests are illegal in Saudi Arabia.
The unrest is gaining ground across the region and protesters are now voicing their frustrations across city walls. As we can see in these pictures which were uploaded by Saudi activists, walls across Qatif are now adorned with anti-government graffiti.
The Saudi Arabian authorities have been trying to quell this protest movement, using force, and as this video montage suggests; ruthless repression. We can hear gun fire, and it appears numerous protesters have been hurt during these rallies. Several sources have reported that at least 4 people have been killed during clashes with riot police in Qatif over the past few weeks.
French government launches open data website
The 2012 state budget draft, road safety data, and the air quality situation across France … these are just some examples of the information now available to all on the site “data.gouv.fr” , the open data website launched by the French government on Monday. The aim is to increase government transparency. In some cases the data is being used to create new services and applications, like here with this map of the city of Rennes which is pinpointing all the bus stops with wheel chair access.
Now trending on social networks
On Wednesday, Karl Lagerfeld announced he was opening an online store with an exclusive preview of his new collection, and ever since he has been trending heavily on social networks. The site is due to go live on the 25th January 2012 and could spark a mini revolution in the luxury market industry which has had difficulties in adapting to the arrival of online shopping. The news spread across the web like wildfire, and fans of the German fashion designer are delighted.
Video of the day
A German watch brand has organized an online competition, in which participants are asked to make one second video clips depicted their vision of beauty. The best entries have been compiled in this video called “Seconds of Beauty”, where the pictures speak for themselves.