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Latest update : 2013-10-30

Online support for Greenpeace activists jailed in Russia

Today on the net: ongoing support for the Greenpeace activists jailed in Russia; campaigning to stop a tear gas shipment to Bahrain; and the Ohio State University Marching Band is back in the online headlines.

Online support for Greenpeace activists jailed in Russia 

As we can see from this amateur video footage captured in Paris over the weekend where a man staged a headline grabbing protest by suspending himself from the Eiffel Tower, or in this video filmed in Spain where campaigners holed themselves up in fake cells in a demonstration of solidarity, global support for the 30 Greenpeace activists who have been jailed in Russia since September 18 after trying to board an oil rig in the Arctic is showing no signs of waning. 

The "Arctic 30" as they are now known face up to 7 years in prison for hooliganism. Their supporters have been staging symbolic protests across the globe ever since their arrest, but the online campaigning has also been gaining ground. Around 1 million 200 000 web users have signed this online petition demanding their immediate release. 

Netizens are also trying to convince some of the big corporations that have dealings with Russia, like oil and gas company Shell, to exert pressure on the Russian authorities to release the prisoners at the earliest possible opportunity. 

And with campaigning set to continue up until and throughout the trial which is due to open on November 24th, several of the imprisoned environmentalists have already shared accounts of their harsh prison conditions. In an article published in Sunday’s edition of Swiss daily Le Matin, Greenpeace activist Marco Weber describes how he has been kept in solitary confinement in a freezing cold cell. The Guardian published a similar account ten days ago from a British activist who also told of the extremely difficult detention conditions. 

Campaign launched to stop tear gas shipment to Bahrain 

According to the “Bahrainwatch” website which campaigns for effective, transparent and accountable governance in Bahrain, the authorities have reportedly ordered over 1.6 million tear gas canisters from foreign suppliers. A huge amount considering Bahrain only has some 1.2 million inhabitants. Activists have been voicing strong concerns over the planned shipment and have launched an online campaign to stop it happening. 

The so called "stop the shipment" movement operates from this website, via which web users can send emails to tear gas manufacturers asking them to stop selling to Bahrain, because, as the campaign instigators report, the authorities regularly use tear gas excessively, and it often turns deadly. Activists say some 39 people have been killed in Bahrain since 2011, either from tear gas inhalation or from direct body shots, and it’s high time countries stopped supplying the kingdom.

Something countless social networkers would agree with. They have been posting under the stoptheshipment hashtag pledging their support to the campaign and also sharing photos and videos like these ones, condemning the government’s methods, demonstrating how the Bahraini authorities use tear gas to violently repress any rallies, how they use it indiscriminately against peaceful protesters, the elderly, and even children … 

Now trending on social networks 

Web users in Mozambique have been posting under the #MozQuerPaz hashtag, meaning Mozambique wants Peace, voicing their fears over the past few months’ growing tensions. Concerns have been further fueled by fresh and deadly clashes between government forces and former rebel group Renamo last week. Web users are appealing for calm; some have posted photos of themselves holding a sign, calling for an end to the violence. 

The tweeting bra 

A bra that tweets every time it’s undone. A Greek company came up with this curious invention with a view to raising breast cancer awareness. This smart underwear comes with a hidden mechanism within the clasp, so each time it’s undone it posts a message to the @tweetingbra account reminding women of the importance of self-examinations and regular screening. Currently only available in Greece it will no doubt soon be available to the rest of the world. 

Video of the day 

The Ohio State University Marching band set the web abuzz last week with its half time Michael Jackson inspired performance, and this weekend’s American football match saw them perform another show stopper, with a tribute to Superman. Check out the spectacular choreography on all good video sharing platforms.

By Electron Libre

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