Mobilisation continues in Bahrain despite the crackdowns by authorities; Web users support the fight of Bradley Manning; and Kim Jong-il’s death generates an online media storm.
Protests continue in Bahrain despite crackdown
The people’s protest has been continuous in Bahrain for several days. As shown by these amateur images, spread online, thousands of protesters have met daily on the Boudaiya motorway, connecting Shiite villages with Place de la Perle in the capital, Manama since last Thursday. The protesters’ aim to denounce the crackdown by authorities and to obtain immediate political change in the country.
They are peaceful gatherings that the Bahraini security forces were quick to disperse, employing violent methods. This is the claim made by several Twitter users, who declared that police fired tear gas rounds at protesters to end the dissent.
The heavy-handed methods by security forces were filmed by several cyber activists who then shared their images online. There are videos showing police charging protesters, causing a vast wave of panic, with protesters running aimlessly while bullets whistle around them.
There are other amateur videos, such as these seemingly show police beating up protesters during the dispersion. And to prove that security forces do not back off easily when stamping out dissent, this Twitter user published an image showing tear-gas bomb cartridges used against protesters.
Despite the repression, the regime’s opponents do not seem to wish to give in. They continue to use the web to urge citizens to join their struggle and diffuse these videos calling on Bahrainis to express their anger with the authorities by taking part in the dissent movement, which is growing in the country.
Web users support Bradley Manning
US soldier, Bradley Manning, accused of leaking thousands of diplomatic documents, revealed by Wikileaks in early 2010, has been standing trial since Friday at the Maryland military court, which must decide whether the 24 year old will appear before a court martial. Accused of “collusion with the enemy” and of “diffusion of military information”, Manning risks life imprisonment. A preliminary hearing widely followed online.
Although journalists are not permitted to Tweet live during hearings, a dozen of them were however allowed to attend the court hearing. News professionals who, like Ed Pilkington, a correspondent with the British daily paper, “The Guardian”, supply information concerning the trial via the social network whenever they have a chance.
Awaiting the result of the trial, support for Bradley Manning is increasing online. The official site dedicated to the young soldier’s cause is particularly active and has uploaded several videos calling for his immediate release. Videos such as this one, stating that if Manning is proven guilty of leaking the information to Wikileaks, he should be considered a hero for having divulged the truth and not as a traitor to the nation. Net users are asked to send in photos, showing their solidarity with the GI or by signing this petition, which has already gathered over 16,000 signatures.
Several gatherings, supporting Bradley Manning have also been organised in recent days, particularly close to the court house. Protests which, as shown in these videos, brought together hundreds of people, determined to obtain the young man’s immediate release.
Facebook commits to green energy
Facebook and Greenpeace announced last week an agreement under which the social network will use clean and renewable energy. Facebook also asserts that it is set to develop programmes to urge users to adopt these energy efficiency practices. An agreement announced after a long pressure campaign led by the ecology organization to convince Mark Zuckerberg’s site to operate using green energy sources.
Now trending on social networks
The death of North Korean President, Kim Jong-il, who died on Saturday aged 69 is currently one of the most discussed subjects by social network users. News spread like wildfire online and which is generating many remarks. While some hope his death will herald the fall of the dictatorship in North Korea, most net users wonder how the succession of Kim Jong-il will take place. Some question whether his son, Kim Jong-Un, posed to take his place, will have the weight to assume the reins of the country.
Video of the day
While Kim Jong-il’s death is perceived as a national drama in North Korea, the dictator’s atypical personality has amused net users and the rest of the world for a long time. Spirited jokes are made on share sites about the man, but also about his fondness for over the top military parades. This is the case for this video which presents images of a North Korean military parade to a hit by “on-trend” band, LFMAO - a surprising mixture which works particularly well.