Today on the net, thousands of Pakistanis take to the streets to protest US drone strikes. Web users in Bangladesh condemn the recent anti-Buddhist attacks. And Venezuelans take to social networks to comment on Hugo Chavez’s re-election.
Anti-drone rally in Pakistan
Thousands of Pakistanis took part in a march this weekend to protest American drone strikes. A movement led by cricket star turned politician Imran Khan, launched just several months before the general election is due to take place. The protest convoy left the capital Islamabad on Saturday and was heading for the tribal region around South Waziristan. But for security reasons, the group was blocked from entering the region which serves as a base for militant groups like the Taliban and Al-Qaida.
Campaigning also continues on the web, with many taking to social networks condemning the airstrikes carried out by US forces. Strikes they say have claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians, spreading fear and terror across the region.
The movement is backed by anti-war campaigners from American NGO Code Pink who travelled to Pakistan to take part in the march. They say the drone attacks are illegal and against international law.
In this online video, "Brave New Foundation" has interviewed two researchers who worked on a joint study by Stanford and New York universities’ law schools. They say the air strikes are counterproductive and make the United States highly unpopular with the people of Pakistan thus facilitating recruitment to terrorist groups across the country.
Protests against anti-buddhist attacks in Bangladesh
Advertising agency Cogito has posted a video online condemning the anti-Buddhist attacks carried out last week in predominantly Muslim Bangladesh. The film features agency employees voicing their shame and disbelief over these attacks. And asking their Buddhist brothers for forgiveness … web users are also encouraged to black out their social network profiles in solidarity…
The attacks came after an image said to show a burnt Koran was posted on Facebook apparently by a young Buddhist; a blasphemous act according to the angry crowds that set fire to Buddhist temples and homes in the southeastern town of Ramu. This outbreak of violence comes as thousands have been taking to the streets across Bangladesh in recent weeks to protest the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims”.
The extremist acts of violence were soon condemned by Bangladeshi citizens, both in person and on the web. Numerous Muslim web users have been relaying photos of rallies on Facebook; demonstrations aimed at condemning the anti-Buddhist attacks, and appealing for peace among religious communities.
A number of online initiatives have emerged; the Youth for Peace and Democracy in Bangladesh group for example is launching its own enquiry into what happened in Ramu; to provide support for the families who lost their home in the fires and help the police track down those responsible.
Now trending on social networks
"Another six years"; supporters of Hugo Chavez have taken to Twitter to celebrate the Venezuelan president’s re-election, his third consecutive mandate. Once his victory had been announced he posted several tweets thanking those who voted for him. Those who voted for his challenger Henrique Capriles also took to social networks to share their disappointment. Some are even refusing to accept the official results, amid claims of electoral fraud.
Blog mocking Ikea’s retouching gaffe
Swedish furniture giant IKEA sparked an outcry last week when it removed pictures of women from the Saudi Arabia version of its catalogue. A scandal that inspired the creator of this Tumblr blog: it’s a tongue in cheek swipe at Ikea’s attitude where women have been replaced by furniture or other unusual objects.
Video of the day
This is Quebec’s new awareness campaign about the dangers of texting whilst driving; it shows drivers from the middle ages to today sending messages as they take to the road … saying they didn’t do it then, and for a good reason … the ad will be aired for one month on the television and is currently doing the rounds on sharing sites…