In this edition: growing calls for sanctions against Ukraine; British web users denounce police violence against anti-fracking protesters; and a paragliding champ in spectacular flight.
CALLS FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST UKRAINE
Several people have been killed over the past few days in the ongoing clashes between security forces and protesters in Kiev and calls for sanctions against Ukraine are growing.
There are a number of petitions circulating online urging the United States to respond to the use of force against protesters by taking targeted measures against the powers that be in Ukraine. Starting with head of state Viktor Yanukovych; this document calling for personal sanctions against the president has been signed by close to 140 000 web users and was launched on the White House petitioning website when Ukraine’s pro-Europe movement was just beginning.
Two anti-corruption organizations have set up this platform calling on western countries to investigate the head of state, his family and entourage for money laundering and fraud, and to freeze any of their assets held in the US and the European Union.
The US Embassy in Kiev has said it has revoked the visas of several people involved in recent violence, and Brussels says it is “shocked” by the clashes and has spoken of “possible actions” against Ukraine.
Some activists have taken their own retaliatory measures. There is a campaign underway on social networks calling for a boycott of companies owned by businessmen with close ties to the presidential party. The aim being to hit the authorities’ inner circles where it hurts the most: in the wallet.
STATS OF THE DAY
This infographic put together by civil movement Chesno, which campaigns for greater political transparency in Ukraine, focusses on the series of bills adopted by Ukrainian parliament last week, measures deemed to represent a severe infringement on individual liberties. Defamatory remarks for example against the authorities could result in a two year prison sentence, the government reserves the right to cut off access to the Internet and also any protester blocking entry to someone’s place of residence runs the risk of six years behind bars.
ENGLAND: POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST ANTI-FRACKING PROTESTERS
It happened on Monday at the Barton Moss gas exploration site on the outskirts of Manchester, in the UK. Campaigners were staging a protest against fracking which consists of extracting shale gas by hydraulic fracturing rock with high-pressure liquid to release the gas. One demonstrator was taken aside by police officers monitoring the rally and apparently brutally detained. The protester had to go to hospital where this photo of his swollen face was taken and then posted online.
The picture has shocked web users; many have posted comments to the Manchester Police Force Facebook page, demanding strong disciplinary action against the officers involved. Social networkers have condemned the disproportionate use of force against a peaceful protester and are urging a thorough enquiry.
And this isn’t the first time since the start of the anti-fracking movement, which began two months ago, that police have been challenged over violent behaviour. In this video for example we see activists shoved to the ground by police for protesting at the entrance to the Barton Moss site.
There are fifty or so activists camping out in makeshift shelters, blocking entry to the gas exploration site so no fracking which they say is dangerous for the environment, can go ahead. And as this flyer which has been doing the rounds on social networks suggests, campaigning looks set to step up a notch; it’s urging people from across Britain to join the activists at Barton Moss next Sunday for a mass rally.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
French women took to social networks on Wednesday posting under the #IVGMonCorpsMonDroit hashtag which translates as” abortion, my body, my choice” following heated parliamentary debate on the issue. The initiative was launched by journalists at Elle magazine and involves posing with a sign or a message on your body supporting a woman’s right to an abortion, and posting the photo online. And as we can see here, scores of men have also joined the campaign…
VISITING FAMOUS BRITISH FILMING LOCATIONS
Last summer two young ladies from Finland Tiia and Satu set off around the UK visiting the filming locations of their favourite films and TV series … the likes of Harry Potter, Doctor Who and also Sherlock Holmes… and once on site the superfans took a photo with a difference as they used a smartphone or tablet to superimpose a still from one of the scenes shot there. Fantastic pics that you can check out on their “Fangirl Quest” Tumblr blog.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
This video entitled “Touch” was filmed in the French Alps and in Greece and shows French paragliding champion Jean-Baptiste Chandelier in spectacular flight. The clip is of course available to view in its entirety on YouTube.