Today on the net, activists condemn a new law restricting public protests in Egypt. The home of South African president Jacob Zuma at the centre of controversy. And an interactive web documentary looking at Canada’s oil industry and its impact.
Prominent activists detained in Egypt
These Egyptian activists gathered in Cairo on Tuesday, to protest against the provision in the new constitution that would allow military trials for civilians. It was an unauthorized demonstration and as we can see from these images posted online by the Mosireen activists collective, it was soon dispersed by riot police armed with water canons.
And so the authorities are proving they intend to firmly enforce a new law that all but bans streets protests in Egypt. There were other rallies staged in the capital that day and they were also repressed, with dozens of protesters being arrested by police. There were a number of prominent activists and key figures of the 2011 revolution among them including female blogger Mona Seif.
The wave of arrests has been met with widespread condemnation on social networks, with web users relaying calls to let the detained protesters go. A handful of activists, including Salma Said were indeed released on Tuesday evening, but they were released on a road, in the middle of the desert, 40 kilometers away from Cairo.
Web user Amr Magdi says these practices are reminiscent of the repressive Mubarak era. A number of revolutionaries have taken to Twitter denouncing a return to authoritarianism and criticizing the ruling military tasked with managing the transition process since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi.
South Africa : controversy over Jacob Zuma’s house
These photos of the private home of South African president, Jacob Zuma, have been splashed across the front pages of national newspapers and their respective websites, and they have caused something of an uproar. Photos used by the press to highlight the major renovation works undertaken at the presidential residence, which are reportedly costing tax payers 20 million dollars. The government has banned the publication of these pictures, saying they pose a threat and risk to the safety of the head of state, but the press has chosen to defy the ban.
These aerial photos have allowed the media to expose the lavish upgrades made to the president’s personal property, which in 2008 consisted of just a few buildings. According to various South African news portals, it now boasts an expansive security system and a sports complex complete with playing fields, a tennis court and a football pitch.
Revelations that have sparked a wave of indignation online. Social networkers are using the #Nkandla hashtag, which is the name of the town where the residence is located, to share and circulate the pictures, denounce what they consider to be obscene expenditure, and protest against censorship of the media.
Other web users have been mocking the government directive through photomontages and satirical drawings and suggesting ways of tightening security at the president’s home; somewhat wacky ideas that poke fun at the government’s reasoning for banning the publication of photos of Jacob Zuma’s home.
“Fort McMoney” interactive documentary looks at oil sands
"Fort McMoney" is an online game documentary created by French filmmaker David Dufresne, and takes viewers to the third largest oil reserve in the world, Fort McMurray, in Canada. The audience can connect with key players in Canada’s oil industry as well as those affected by the social changes brought by the exploitation of this natural reserve. Web users can also take part in debates and vote on actions to take at the end of each week, the interactive documentary will then continue accordingly.
Now trending on social networks
Residents and visitors to the French capital took part in a day of tweets in Paris on April 29th, posting under the #JDTAP hashtag. Poetic messages, photos of winding alleyways, 300 tweets and a hundred or so photos have been selected from those posted that day and compiled in a collective book. The Paris city council has published 1000 copies which will be available to view in public libraries across the city.
Video of the day
Nothing gets in Richie Eisler’s way! Here’s the proof; we see the well-known pro-blader careen around Vancouver, at top speed, as people look on in astonishment. The Canadian extreme skater has released the video to promote his own line of skates, and it confirms just why he is regarded as a legend in the discipline.