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Quick Reads + Citizen Media

Media archive · 4275 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Citizen Media

China Clamp Down on Slash Fiction

China recently launched a crackdown on online pornographic content: ”Cleaning the Web 2014″. According to the campaign, all online texts, pictures, videos, and ads with pornographic content will be deleted in order to “create a healthy cyberspace”. 

According to Offbeat China, since the launch of “Cleaning the Web 2014″, many Chinese fiction-sharing websites have removed their slash collections, including jjwxc.net, the most popular self-publishing website in China. Websites dedicated to slash, such as dmxsw.com, have been shut down. At least 20 writers have reportedly been arrested for producing slash fiction. 

Cycling to Save Archeological Heritage

(Links are in English, otherwise noted [es] for Spanish)

How can two apparently very distinct interests, such as cycling and archeology, come together? Nils Castro shares his experience in an article [es] as a guest blogger on Lima Milenaria. 

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Niles mentions that even though he had already created the Facebook group Círculo Ciclísta Protector de las Huacas [es] [The Protective Cycling Circle for Las Huacas], it wasn't until later that a pyramid suffered damage from the complex archeological site El Paraíso [Paradise]. This launched the Visitas Ciclistas Guiadas [Guided Cycling Visits] throughout Lima's diverse huacas. Its first visit recruited 70 people and up to now has done nine more. He adds:   

The first lesson that we learned from these nine outings is that a many people from Lima don't know their city nor the pre-hispanic heritage that it houses. However, at the same time, there is limited scientific investigation and the government organizations involved have bureaucracy and an insufficient budget like potholes in their protection efforts.

Nevertheless, our cycling trips have shown us that each time there are more civil citizens willing to reverse this situation. Diverse collectives and activists look to preserve our material and immaterial heritage. They are getting networks together in order to make our historical riches visible. 

This Sunday, April 27th, Nils invites people to join a new cycling trip [es] through several huacas located in the river valley, río Rímac [Rímac River].

Chile: “Strength Built with Hands”

The author of blog Palabras para gastar shares his impressions after a visit to cerro Merced [es], in Valparaíso, days after the devastating fire that destriyed the area:

There it was, a crowd moving along like ants, solving on the go, communicating with each other; not even asking for a lending hand but offering both. There ir was, besides the monument that commemorate the 1906 earthquake and the “Plaza del Recuerdo” [Remembrance Square], a stack of debris, rusted and scorched cans. Twisted as should be our conscience.
[...]
And facing this shocking setting, solidarity shows itself in all its splendor. No alms; solidarity. Equal treat, like brothers.
[...]
Strength, Valpo! Strength built with hands, no one that just gets pronounced or written. A mound of strength, damn it!

French Newspaper Publishes Chart on What Nationalities Commit Crimes

The newspaper Le Progrès based in Lyon, France published an infographic [fr]entitled “”Délinquance : à chacun sa spécialité – principales nationalités impliquées” (Crimes: To each his own- the main nationalities implicated [for each type of crimes]) (see image in the twitter update below):     

In its daily publication, newspaper Le Progrès dared to publish a comparison of crime rates in the Rhône by nationality 

Thibeau Perezat notes that the newspaper did not mention the sources of the data. Global Voices contributor Julie Owono comments that the newspaper failed to distinguish that “Africans” or “Roma” are not nationalities.

Guyana: The Walter Rodney Enquiry

Two different narratives are taking hold in Guyana when it comes to the Commission of Enquiry into the death of political activist Walter Rodney: Barbados Underground reports that the Guyana Trades Union Congress is looking after its interest in arriving at the truth, while propaganda press, which is not in support of the enquiry, suggests that the process is being boycotted.

Grenada, Antigua: Life Lessons

Kara Stevens, blogging at Groundation Grenada, shares five lessons about finances and life from Lessons her “Superhero Antiguan Grandpa”.

International Organizations, Activists and Authors Against #LeyTelecom

Several digital rights international organizations sent the Mexican Congress a letter expressing international support [es] for the defense of the freedom of expression and Internet freedom in Mexico. The letter is signed by Electronic Frontier Foundation, Vía Libre, Digital Rights NGO, among other academics and experts.

According to the signers, each regulation refered to telecommunications and broadcastiong approved by Mexican Congress should comply constitutional regulations and international rules about human rights signed by Mexico. They also issued a call for the observance of the UN resolution about right to privacy in the digital era on the complimentary law on telecommunicatons, the joint declaration about surveillance programs and their impact in freedom of expresson and the 13 principles [es] about human rights, in order to ensure the respect of human rights in the internet.

ContingenteMX posted this video on YouTube:

Jamaica Names Poet Laureate

Jamaican diaspora litblogger Geoffrey Philp is thrilled to hear that Mervyn Morris has been named Poet Laureate of Jamaica by the country's National Library, saying:

It speaks to the years of commitment to his craft and the guidance that he has given and continues to give to poets and to the people of Jamaica.

East Timorese Protect Land Rights Against Australian Cement Plant Deal

The announcement of a new cement plant project by an Australian company in Baucau, northeast of East Timor, has led local community groups to set up a non-governmental organization “to protect and preserve the communities’ rights to their culture, development and traditional land rights.”

According to the community organization, Kapeliwa, the government of East Timor gave the largest construction company in Western Australia, BGC, permission to construct [tet] a cement plant with the annual capacity of 1.5 million tons in Baucau, as well as a license to extract limestone for 100 years. The construction project was awarded to the South Korean company POSCO E&C, from East Timor’s TL Cement (“a special purpose corporation wholly owned by BGC”), in December 2013.

Kapeliwa was publicly launched on April 19, 2014, by a group of intellectuals from Kaisido, Parlamento, Lialailesu and Osowa - four villages located in the northeast coast of Timor-Leste, Baucau district. The four villages, situated near the airport of the country's second city, are part of the administrative area of Suco Tirilolo, where the minority ethno-lingusitic community Uaima'a live.

In the first public meeting with the community members and leaders of the four villages, the group's founders presented the ”potential positive and negative impact of the proposed cement factory in and on Uaima'a land known as Kaisido.” The group claims that there is lack of information about this project and that there hasn't been a proper viability study for the development.

Will there be a Popular Consultation for Yasuní?

(All links are in Spanish, otherwise noted as [en] for English)

Following the president's decision last year to exploit the oil fields in Parque Nacional Yasuní [en] [Yasuní National Park] an oppositional movement began and became quickly organized. It started carrying out marches for collecting signatures in order to hold a popular consultation regarding Yasuni's fate. 

On Saturday, April 12th the Yasunidos collective, along with other organizations, presented almost 750,000 signatures before the CNE [National Electoral Board, for its Spanish name] so that it may be passed on to the Consulta Popular del Yasuní ITT [The Yasuní ITT Popular Consultation]. The CNE accounted for receiving the signatures and indicates that the minimum signatures required were 583,324. It also announced that the signature verification procedure started on Monday, April 14th. 

However, on Thursday, April 17th an incident occurred involving Yasunidos members. They blocked the boxes, containing the forms of the collected signatures, from being transferred between the CNE and the signature verification center. They claimed there were irregularities in the procedure. 

They want to take the boxes away without our consent despite the petition to postpone the procedure until we're certain.

On Friday, April 18th the CNE announced that the procedure is advancing in accordance to the established timetable and that the presence of supervisors guarantees its transparency and proper conduct. Nevertheless, activists continue to denounce irregularities with the procedure.

The military @FFAAECUADOR closes the door on #Yasunidos #DefiendeTuFirma [Defend your signature] #Yasuní 

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