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Online solidarity for displaced Pakistanis

In this edition: Web users mobilise for the Pakistani civilians displaced by the offensive against the Taliban; and a Youtube video competition to denounce the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.




A call for help, this is the title of a video broadcast online by a Pakistani organisation. Faced with the humanitarian crisis which is taking hold in the country, the Web is mobilising for the people who have fled fighting between the army and the Taliban.


Many humanitarian organisations are posting videos online to present their activities and bear testimony to the situation. The aim is to appeal to Net users to make a donation. The UN has announced that 400 million euros will be needed this year to help these displaced people.


And information concerning the refugees is pouring into this site created by the Pakistani government. Information updated daily, which allows NGOs to understand the needs of each refugee camp.

This blogger, involved in humanitarian operations, has published many photos which explain how aid is deployed in the region. He deplores the sometimes poor organisation, which often gives rise to looting of humanitarian trucks.

Others denounce some of the authorities’ practices. In this video, widely broadcast in the blogosphere, refugees who have left everything behind explain how they had to pay to obtain new ID papers. These documents are however indispensable for registering in centres for displace persons.




Young, armed men chanting slogans to the glory of the revolution. This report on the Peruvian Maoist guerrilla movement, better known as the ‘Shining Path’, was broadcast by a local TV channel, has caused strong online reactions.


This American blogger is alarmed by the revival of the movement, which has caused debate since the imprisonment of its leader, Abimael Guzmán, in 1992. A re-emergence which he explains by the involvement of its members in the lucrative cocaine trade.


This Peruvian Net user feels that his government must react quickly to prevent the guerrillas building up their strength. He fears his country may be plunged back into the kind of terror and conflict between the army and these rebels, which caused over 70,000 victims between 1980 and 2000.


Meanwhile, supporters and members of the Shining Path are using the Web to present their movement. Many videos like these, show freedom fighters partaking in military training in the Peruvian mountains.


Others pay homage to the Shining Path’s fight for the rural class, with videos or songs such as these.


Particularly alarmed by the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the US-based NGO ‘Enough’ has just launched a video competition on Youtube. The aim is to mobilise Net users to denounce this bloody conflict, which is tearing the region apart. The organisation recalls that the groups involved in fighting are financed by trade in mineral ores, which are abundant in the country’s subsoil. Metals which are subsequently used to make mobile phones. The aim of this initiative is therefore to give a sense of responsibility to industrials.


A famous US coffee chain is trying to stand out from the pack with a new marketing campaign, relying on the popularity of the brand amongst net users. After installing new advertising billboards in several US cities, the brand launched a competition on Twitter. The first people to send in photos of these posters would win gift vouchers. A 2.0 campaign which is set to continue with the posting of videos on Youtube.


Hurtling down the streets of San Francisco in a giant ball of wool- this is the somewhat wacky idea conceived by these young Americans to create an online buzz. This video has circulated in the blogosphere and has generated enthusiasm amongst Net users. But disappointingly, in reality this is in fact a viral campaign, launched by a famous sunglasses brand.



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