Online tributes for a Syrian cyber activist killed in Homs earlier this week. Environmental activists campaigning for the preservation of a park in the Armenian capital. And web users help a Japanese tourist retrieve his bicycle that was stolen in China.
Syrian citizen journalist killed in Homs
A cyber activist was killed in the Syrian city of Homs on Tuesday, the day before American Marie Colvin and France’s Rémi Ochlik. Although Rami al-Sayed was not a professional journalist, the 26 year old was one of the most active bloggers in this city which has produced many of the martyrs of the Syrian revolution.
Rami al-Sayed, who went under the pseudonym "Syria Pioneer", was based in Baba Amr, one of the neighbourhoods in Homs worst hit by the military assault by forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad. He had uploaded hundreds of videos to YouTube over the past few months, providing first-hand accounts of the anti-government protests, and testifying to the ruthless and bloody crackdown ordered by the Damascus regime; he often recorded the intense shelling at very close range and his footage was broadcast by media outlets the world over.
His bravery and courage have been hailed by the online community, and in particular on the site Bambuser, which hosted streams of live video from his camera in Homs where he reported amid heavy shelling. What is thought to be his final broadcast is also being relayed online. He appeals to the international community to take urgent concrete measures to end the repression in Homs. He was killed shortly afterwards as he was taking casualties to a makeshift hospital, the car he was in was hit by shelling. He leaves behind his wife and their one and a half year old daughter.
Armenia: activists protest constructions in Yerevan park
Over the past two weeks or so, environmental activists in Armenia have been protesting a city council decision to allow the construction of boutiques in the Mashtots Park, one of the last remaining green spaces in the capital Yerevan. The movement has been widely relayed online, with activists using the web to raise awareness and mobilize public support.
As we can see in this online video, a number of rallies have taken place around the park in recent days protesting the move. Hundreds of demonstrators braved the cold, intent on convincing the local authorities to reverse their decision.
And in view of the lack of response from the authorities in Yerevan, some decided to take matters further by taking occupation of the building sites, in a bid to stop further construction. The operation was partly organized via social networks, under the hashtag “Occupy Mashtots Park”, and resulted in some participants being arrested by the police.
But as we can see in this footage, which is currently doing the rounds on sharing sites, the city council appears to have found a way to overcome this latest hurdle, by instructing employees to work through the night.
And although the authorities appear to be ignoring their demands, environmental activists continue to spread their message via the local blogosphere, and the movement is drawing a growing number of supporters. This Facebook group has been created specifically for the cause. It’s called “It’s our city” and already has over 4 000 members, all hoping the city council will abandon the project.
The Promo Bay
Well known Swedish download site ‘The Pirate Bay’ has launched a promotion platform for independent artists: It’s called “The Promo Bay” and offers musicians, writers and other creative types an advertising spot on its homepage. Interested parties simply have to send in a logo and a link to a website where their content can be freely shared. So in just a few clicks, artists will be able to promote their work, free of charge, all over the world.
Now trending on social networks
Back in October, Keiichiro Kawahara quit his job in Japan to cycle around the world. But when he arrived in Wuhan in central China, his bike was stolen. Determined to get it back, he contacted the police, and was interviewed by a local television station. The report was widely relayed on social networks. Thousands of people joined the search for his missing bicycle, and three months later his travelling companion was returned to him, after one web user spotted it for sale in an underground market in the city’s suburbs.
Video of the day
Thijme Termaat is 25 year old artist from Holland, and in this video, entitled “I Paint”, he has used the stop motion technique to illustrate how his paintings gradually take form, bringing them to life and taking us to a place somewhere between dream and reality.