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Thousands of social protesters march in cities across Israel

2. Juli 2012 in Blog - alle Themen

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Thousands of social protesters march in cities across Israel

Demonstrators block major road in central Tel Aviv; protesters prevent light rail from operating in Jerusalem.  By Ofra Edelman and Eli Ashkenazi | Haaretz Jun.30, 2012

A week after the violent protests in Tel Aviv, over 5,000 social protesters marched in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Afula.

In Tel Aviv, activists marched from Habima Sqare to the Tel Aviv Museum. At one point, over a thousand demonstrators marched toward the government compound, blocking one a major road in central Tel Aviv. Protesters then made their way toward City Hall.

A trashcan was also set on fire near the museum.

Among the speakers are retired Major General Ze’ev Even-Hen, who lost his daughter Topaz in the 2010 Carmel fire disaster, and Prof. Yossi Yonah, who was part of the alternative team of experts who advised the protesters last summer.

During his speech, Yonah said that “over a year has passed and we are still coming together here because we are angry. We are angry that the Israeli government forgot that it must act in favor of the entire public.”

The streets Marmorek, Ibn Gvirol and Shaul Hamelech will be closed to traffic.

The activists intend to present a new socioeconomic charter which will address the upcoming annual budget. Among other demands, the charter will call for increasing the government’s part in the gross national product and introducing tax reforms and pension reforms.

The organizers, who say the protest has been approved by and coordinated with security forces, said citizens must call on the Israeli government to “open its eyes.” “We are the ones holding up Israel on our shoulders,” they said. “The money you will dole out in the upcoming budget is not yours, it’s the citizens.’”

In Jerusalem, over 500 activists marched from Paris Square and Ibn Gabirol Street to Zion Square. At one point, protesters stood on the tracks of the Jerusalem light rail, preventing it from operating for several minutes.

In Haifa, 500 people marched from the Cinematheque to Gan Ha’em, and in Afula activists gathered near the city’s main stage.

On Thursday, dozens of artists, musicians and performers joined a Facebook campaign calling for a boycott of the Tel Aviv municipality’s annual White Night event on Thursday, to protest police violence against social justice demonstrators last week.

While museums, clubs, and dozens of galleries ran as scheduled, a number of events were canceled due to participants’ refusal to take part in a festival sponsored by the municipality.

Last Saturday, police arrested 89 demonstrators after more than 6,500 people converged in and around Tel Aviv’s Habima Square, protesting the arrest a day before of Daphni Leef, a leader of last summer’s social protest movement. Photo Nir Kedar

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