Today on the net: web users in Romania campaign against a gold mining project. Painting public stairways becomes a new form of protest in Turkey. And web users claiming to be US servicemen oppose military intervention in Syria.
Romanians protest against mining project
As we can see in this amateur video footage, thousands of Romanians have taken part in rallies in the capital Bucharest and the rest of the country over the past few days to protest against a Canadian firm’s plans to mine for gold and silver in Romania’s small north-western town of Rosia Montana. The government supports the project which is soon to be voted on in parliament, but it has been met with strong opposition online.
Although many have taken to the streets to voice their disapproval, the web is also abuzz with critics expressing their anger and concerns. Social networkers have been posting under the hashtag #SaveRosiaMontana, discussing the pollution the planned open mine will generate for example, as it will use vast amounts of cyanide, and they’ve been appealing to the government to change its mind.
Web users are also being asked, like here on this site put together by activists, to contact their political representatives to let them know they feel about the quarries and urge them to vote against the project when it is put to the vote in parliament.
Strong mobilization which looks set to continue over the coming days, and not just in Romania. Activists have launched a campaign on Facebook, with plans to stage a demonstration in front of the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Thursday to call upon the organization to add the site to the World Heritage list, thus ensuring its protection.
Turkey's rainbow stairs revolt
Residents of Istanbul’s Findikli neighbourhood were delighted when one of their public stairways was painted in multi-colored stripes last week, with most people assuming it was an act of solidarity with Istanbul’s LGBT community.
But it turns out the person responsible is not a gay rights activist, the stairway painter is a retiree named Huseyin Cetinel. The 64-year-old told the press he simply wanted to brighten up peoples’ days.
The authorities however were far from impressed with the rainbow colours, and sent in municipality workers to hastily repaint the stairway, which had become something of a local attraction, back to its original grey…
A move that sparked anger among residents who took to social networks to retaliate, with calls to repaint the stairway, in bright colours, themselves, coordinating the effort under the hashtag #DirenMerdiven meaning "Resist Stairs".
A citizen action that soon inspired others, as we can in the photos compiled on this blog which shows rainbow coloured stairways, pavements and roadways in towns and cities across Turkey. For many the stairway conflict with the authorities is another example of a government intent on controlling their public and private lives and this movement is something of an extension of the anti-government protests back in June when activists sought to save the trees in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, where the government was planning to build a shopping mall.
Now trending on social networks
“I didn't join the Navy to fight for al Qaeda in a Syrian civil war!” this message was posted online on Saturday by a man dressed like a US Navy Officer. Others have since followed suit, defining themselves as servicemen and holding signs condemning possible military intervention in Syria. Bound by the rule of confidentiality, all the soldiers have their faces hidden which has fueled speculation in the press and on social networks, that the photos have in fact been staged, and the people in them aren’t actually soldiers…
“Selfies at serious places”
From a gas chamber at Auschwitz, in front of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, and alongside the 9/11 memorial… This Tumblr blog is called “Selfies at serious places”, and was set up by an American web user, Jason Feifer, to expose what he describes as disrespectful behaviour. The blog has already prompted some of the teens who have taken “selfies” in somber settings to actually apologize.
Video of the day
YouTube regulars will be familiar with former music teacher Max Gleason, aka Smooth McGroove, and his acappela vocal arrangements of video games tunes. In his latest video he performs the Tetris theme… it’s brilliantly orchestrated and is enjoying massive success online.