The Observers

Risking everything to film repression in Syria, gun trouble in Ohio, and volunteer firefighters in Russia

This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.



The Syrian government does not allow journalists to cover the unrest and repression that's going on across the country. So we depend on ordinary Syrians to tell us what's happening - and show us what's happening, by capturing it on video. It's very dangerous. Our Observer explains why he and his friends are willing to take the risk.He's in the central city of Homs, and uses the pseudonym Waleed Fares.


Next up is the United States, and a story about guns and the police. So far this year, 49 police officers have been killed by gunfire - that's a 20-year high. So officers are understandably nervous about guns when they stop people for questioning. Like most states, Ohio allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons. If stopped by the police, they're supposed to immediately say "I have a weapon". But that's not one happened one night this summer. We head to Canton, Ohio, with Gary Witt, a supporter of the right to carry concealed weapons.


In Russia, forest fires are ravaging the country once again this summer. The country's firefighters are overwhelmed, so volunteers are stepping in to help. Moscow is our last stop, with volunteer firefighter Anna Baskakova.

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