In Canada, Native Americans protest about living conditions. NGOs denounce extremely harsh prison sentences received by Vietnamese bloggers. And two young Americans recreate the ‘Toy Story’ cartoon with real toys.
Native Americans protest to demand rights in Canada
For more than one month Theresa Spence has been consuming only fish broth and tea. Living in a camp set up close to the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, this Native American chief has been on hunger strike to protest about her community’s living conditions. She has become the emblem of the Canadian indigenous peoples’ protest movement, brought together under the ‘Idle No More’ organisation.
The anger was caused by a law bill, which is set to considerably limit entitlement to ancestral lands. An inacceptable initiative for these communities, which have already been greatly affected by problems concerning housing and unemployment. Weary of being regarded as second-class citizens, the indigenous activists have therefore decided to cause a revolt.
And thanks to social networks, their message has spread around the country like wild fire. Whether to create a road block or to sing and dance in this shopping mall last Sunday in Edmonton, Canada-wide protests are regularly organised via the internet to defend indigenous people’s rights.
A movement also supported by other inhabitants of the country. On Twitter, net users make fun of Prime Minister Stephen Harper imagining him dressed as a Native American leader. A way of poking fun at the government’s attitude during this crisis.
Vietnam: harsh prison sentences for "dissident" bloggers
Sentences ranging from three to fifteen years in prison: this is the very heavy verdict imposed last week by the Vietnamese courts on fourteen bloggers and human rights defenders. Their crime was to have participated in a seminar organised in Thailand by the outlawed ‘Viêt Tân’ opposition party, with the aim of ousting the governing communist regime, according to local authorities. A disproportionate decision in the eyes of numerous NGOs, who have decided to speak up online to defend those convicted.
This is the case in particular for CPJ, the journalist protection committee which published a text on its site denouncing the severity of the verdict. A decision which, according to the organisation, illustrates the desire of the Vietnamese authorities to muzzle the opposition and dissident bloggers by all possible means.
A point of view shared by Amnesty International, who also asserts that all charges against the militants are simply unfounded and that they were only convicted for having expressed their opinion. Reasons which the NGO feel should encourage authorities to free the dissidents as soon as possible.
A request also made by Human Rights Watch in a press release posted online. A text in which the organisation also states that instead of imprisoning them, Vietnam should honour the activists. In fact, as far as the NGO is concerned, the convicted bloggers tackle issues affecting Vietnamese society, whereas the authorities are happy to simply ignore them.
Now trending on social networks
#PDFtribute, by typing in these key words in recent days, researchers around the world have published their work free of charge on social networks. The aim being to pay a final homage to Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide last Friday at the aged of twenty six. The computer specialist, who fought for free circulation of information, was subject to legal proceedings for gathering together millions of scientific articles on the JSTOR site. Fee-based articles which the young cyber activist hoped to make available to net users free of charge.
Edward Hopper’s paintings restaged as photos
Dutch artist, Laetitia Molenaar set herself an original challenge when she decided to recreate some of Edward Hopper’s works in photo format. Images displayed on the photographer’s site in a collection named, ‘Here comes the Sun’ and which could be mistaken for works by the American painter.
Video of the day
Two and half years were necessary for budding young film makers, Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrottato to remake a shot by shot version of the Pixar studios cartoon animation Toy Story with real toys. A huge job, offering a frankly impressive result and which net users are invited to view on share sites.