Israel/Palestine social protests

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Tojiah
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Aug 31 2011 14:56

Apparently the labor courts can force you back to work despite giving a month's notice.

State: Interns' Resignation Illegal

Quote:
The mass resignations submitted in protest by medical interns are not legal, state prosecutors charged Tuesday in a message to the Supreme Court. The interns' strike measures were not approved by the Israel Medical Association.

Interns have continued to protest despite an agreement between the IMA and the Treasury that ended a lengthy doctors' strike.

(Hebrew sources are more numerous, only this right-wing pirate station had this in English)

Mark.
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Aug 31 2011 20:29

Next Saturday's march and the future of the tent protests:

In final push, J14 to hold ‘million-person’ march

This doesn't sound particularly encouraging to me.

Mark.
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Sep 1 2011 11:47
Quote:
NRG is reporting [HEB] today that J14 leaders are contemplating the dismantling of tents across the country and moving on to the next phase of their struggle.

Comparisons to Madrid and the M15 (May 15th) movement have been made for some time now. The Spanish “Indignados” also reached a conclusion that sitting in the squares had a certain life span to it, and eventually picked up their bags and left.

If this indeed happens, it will be a good decision by the J14 leaders. The tents have run their course, and if the Saturday demonstration is big (I’m taking the whole family this time), it’ll be great to “go out with a bang” – but keep fighting through other venues…

http://972mag.com/report-j14-tents-to-be-dismantled-after-saturday-“million-man”-march/

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Sep 1 2011 14:43
Mark. wrote:
Quote:
If this indeed happens, it will be a good decision by the J14 leaders. The tents have run their course, and if the Saturday demonstration is big (I’m taking the whole family this time), it’ll be great to “go out with a bang” – but keep fighting through other venues…

For people who aren't middle-class activists, this protest hasn't run its course at all. Not from what I've been hearing from tents in the poorer parts of the country. But I guess some people are hearing a political/NGO job calling? (The latter is pure speculation on my part)

Mark.
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Sep 2 2011 10:15

Preparations for tomorrow's march

Jerusalem Post

Haaretz, also here

http://twitter.com/#!/J14ENG

Mark.
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Sep 2 2011 20:52
Mark.
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Sep 2 2011 21:31
Tojiah wrote:
Mark. wrote:
Quote:
If this indeed happens, it will be a good decision by the J14 leaders. The tents have run their course, and if the Saturday demonstration is big (I’m taking the whole family this time), it’ll be great to “go out with a bang” – but keep fighting through other venues…

For people who aren't middle-class activists, this protest hasn't run its course at all. Not from what I've been hearing from tents in the poorer parts of the country. But I guess some people are hearing a political/NGO job calling? (The latter is pure speculation on my part)

According to http://twitter.com/#!/J14ENG

Quote:
J14ENG RT @Edge2_0: People at Rothschild encampment ask to clarify that #j14 will go on. No tent is being taken down.
Mark.
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Sep 3 2011 11:53

Ynet: A million protesters for social justice?

AFP

Quote:
Israeli activists have called for a "demonstration of one million" people as part of their ongoing protest movement against rising costs of living, organizers said Friday.

It will be held Saturday evening across Israel, the organizers said.

"We are actually counting on rallying hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, knowing that the goal of one million or one-seventh of the country's population could be unrealistic," one of the organizers, Hadas Kushlevitch, told AFP.

Haaretz: Ahead of the March of the Million, Israel’s social protest leaders are put to the test

Quote:
The two people now regarded as the protest's leaders, Daphni Leef and National Union of Israeli Students chairman Itzik Shmuli

I'm not sure in what way they're the leaders or who appointed Itzik Shmuli. Maybe what's needed here is an Israeli kremlinologist to analyse how J14 is making decisions and how that corresponds to the media accounts.

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Sep 3 2011 17:41

Haven't there been previous descriptions of committees within each of the tents? I am getting the impression that they are "leaders" in the sense that they correspond most directly to what the media expects of a movement leader (because perish the thought that there would be anything non-centralized going on!).

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Sep 3 2011 19:02

Live blog of the March of a Million:
972Mag

Quote:
Six weeks after Israel’s largest social protest began, protesting the high cost of living in Israel, the J14 movement holds its ‘March of a Million’ protest tonight. The movement aims to bring a million Israelis across the country out into the streets. The protest is projected to be the largest ever in Israeli history, a culmination of the J14 movement, with 17 cities across the country holding demonstrations.
+972 Magazine is blogging the events live. Check here for updates throughout the night.
9:30 pm: The march in Tel Aviv is about to begin. Here’s what Kikar Hamedina is looking like, below, courtesy of ActiveStills. Signs held by protesters in the square are spamming the full gamut: from the spectrum of social justice and welfare state slogans we’ve been seeing since the movement began, to Free Gilad Shalit calls, and notably this time many signs are calling directly for PM Netanyahu to resign. Leaders from the Student Union up on the square’s stage are singing, “the protest will not end until the Knesset wakes up.”

Kikar Hamedina in Tel Aviv, moments before the march begins. (Photo: ActiveStills)
9:05 pm: In Tel Aviv, Kikar Hamedina is already nearly full. Reports say one of Tel Aviv’s largest streets, Ibn Gvirol, along with Jabotinsky Street are completely packed. News reports are putting the current estimate at 102,000 protesters across the country – the number is being updated by the minute.
8:35 pm: Channel 10 news reports that 30,000 protesters have already come out into the streets across Israel. In Tel Aviv, the protest march will begin on Rothschild Blvd and make its way to Kikar Hamedina (State Square) in northern Tel Aviv, where a rally will be held. At least 16,000 demonstrators are reported to already be in Kikar Hamedina, about a half hour before the march begins at 9:30 pm.

None of the other usual live blog venues are carrying it, i.e. Al Jazeera or the Guardian.

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Sep 3 2011 19:56

(From 972Mag live-blog)

Quote:
10:20: The current estimate of protesters across Israel stands at 410,000.
10:11: So far there is very little reference to the occupation and the Palestinians around the protests. Dimi Reider in Kikar Hamedina reports he has seen exactly one occupation-related sign so far, the protest is overwhelmingly Jewish in messages. Joseph Dana tweets: ”Tonight’s protest in Tel Aviv will send a strong message to the world: Israelis want a new government but the occupation is not a priority. ” Nonetheless, some are trying to assert that the issue of social justice cannot be separated from “politics,” meaning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. @issaeb carries a sign that reads “It’s political.”
9:55: Speeches are now starting on the stage at Kikar Hamedina. Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmueli says the protest will go on until “you, the PM, give us real solutions. We are here to stay.” He says that the students are willing to cooperate with the government in finding solutions, under the condition that the government is willing to take real action, seen in changes in legislation, and in the budget. He is not joining the message portrayed in signs around the square calling for the prime minister to step down.
Mark.
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Sep 3 2011 22:20

972 liveblog

Quote:
Wrap up: Ynet’s conservative estimate of tonight’s numbers puts 300,000 in Tel Aviv, and another 100,000 elsewhere in the country. Maariv’s website NRG had the following breakdown on demonstrations outside Tel Aviv:

Haifa – 40K
Jerusalem – 60K
Kiryat Shmona – 10K
Nahariya – 7K
Rosh Pina – 5K
Kfar Yehoshua – 15K
Hadera – 2K
Afula – 17K,
Carmiel – 5K
Kiryat Motzkin – 3K
Eilat – 2K

Other cities protesting tonight included Arad, Mitzpe Ramon, Eilat, Qalansua, Hod Hasharon, and Ness Ziona.

At the end of the night, the future of the movement is unclear, as some in the leadership have called for breaking up the tent encampments while local activists insist on carrying on.

12:06 pm: Some incredible photos from the night from ActiveStills

11:33 pm: Major Israeli TV channels, including Channel 10 and Channel 2 dropped live coverage of Dafni Leef’s speech half way through. The media’s dislike for her is overwhelming. Over the past week, Leef was repeatedly branded a “radical leftist” in the media. During an interview with Channel 10’s Economic Night host Sharon Gal, was slammed for not having served in the IDF. Later, rightist group “My Israel,” came out with claims that 6 years ago she signed onto a letter refusing to enlist in the IDF [Hebrew].

11:20 pm: J14’s founder Dafni Leef is on stage in Tel Aviv. She’s delivering a range of criticism against attempts to squash the movement. She slammed attempts to use last week’s terror attack to silence the protests, and to drive a wedge between the demonstrators and those affected by violence. Instead she spoke at length about solidarity between sectors in Israeli society, a new civic identity, and a political movement free of the right-vs-left discourse. Whether you’re an evacuee from Gush Katif (in Gaza) or a Bedouin, she said, or a child whose parents can’t afford to send him on a school trip, the situation for you, too, has to change.

11:00 pm: Here’s the tally according to various Israeli media outlets: Channel 1: 450K protesters; Channel 2: 405K; Channel 10: 460K

Mark.
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Sep 3 2011 23:16

Other reports on tonight's march

Haaretz

Ynet

Quote:
Meanwhile, the protest organizers announced that the tent site in Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard will be cleared and will no longer serve for accommodation but for public conferences.

The Jerusalem Post contradicts this

Quote:
Looking at the multitudes gathering in Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard on Saturday evening, Barak Segel, a member of the group of friends who launched the protests in mid-July, said, “The entire people of Israel have stepped out of their houses to protest. This is one small step for the people of Israel, one giant step for the country.”

When asked about speculation that the movement would begin folding up the tent cities across the country, Segel said, “No, they must stay, the tent cities and the protesters are all in this together. Besides, we need to strengthen the tent cities for the winter.”

When asked if the turnout represented a success, Roee Neuman, long the spokesman of the leaders of the tent-city protest on Rothschild Boulevard, said: “From my point of view, the atmosphere is amazing here. That’s all I can say.”

He added that beginning on Sunday, “the protest will enter a new phase. It could be that the campsites become more concentrated and consolidated, but they won’t be folded up. The protest will keep going and only get stronger until our demands are met.”

AFP

AJE who also have a timeline of the protests so far

BBC video

Mark.
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Sep 4 2011 09:48

The media 'leadership' narrative continues...

From +972

J14: Initial thoughts on final rally

Quote:
The first speaker was Itzik Shmuli, head of the Student Union, who this week openly declared his intention to segue into a political career; the last was Daphni Leef, the 25-year old who pitched the first tent and sparked the movement.
[…]
Itzik Shmuli, head of the Student Union used the term “the new Israelis” at least half a dozen times in his speech. Guess what name to expect for his party?

From Haaretz

What’s next for Israel after the ‘March of the Million’

Quote:
But today, after the success of the March of the Million, the protest has come to a crossroads. Should it demand all or nothing as protest leader Daphni Leef insists, or should it go the practical way espoused by National Student Union chairman Itzik Shmuli and demand a change in priorities in a number of important realms?

Should there be a "change of the economic system," and an attempt to force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to completely reverse his approach, as Leef wants, or should the existing market economy continue, with changes made to find the proper balance, as Shmuli has put it?

And should the Trajtenberg committee be boycotted, deemed, as Leef put it, "cynical, cruel and knowingly misleading" or should a dialogue be created with the committee, influencing it so it emerges with recommendations "that will provide real change," as Shmuli believes?

It is the dilemma between those who want revolution and those who want evolution.
[…]
Shmuli understands this well. That is why he is not setting impossible goals. He understands that a free-market economy is the best system, but he wants to change some elements in it. He wants the government to set new priorities within the budget and therefore he objects to the long list drawn up by Leef and her associates. Neither is Shmuli boycotting Trajtenberg. They will be meeting this week, and it appears that if any two people can close a deal, they can.

Remember that it was Itzik Shmuli who unilaterally announced the cancellation of protests after the Eilat attacks without the agreement of the rest of J14.

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Sep 4 2011 17:22

I can't find much coverage in English, yet, but reports from all four mainstream newspapers seem to suggest that some encampments do not wish to disperse. For example, one encampment in Holon, which houses people who have long been deserving of public housing but were denied it, has been given orders by the city government to disperse, but refuses to:
Folding the Tents? The Homeless in Holon Stay On (Ynet, Hebrew)

Quote:
Regarding the giant protest in Tel Aviv yesterday, which symbolized the end of the protest in its current form for many, Zacharia said: "The protest today was just another chapter in the Rothschild reality show. It showed the disconnect between the people and the leaders of the tents in Rothschild. The situation will deteriorate because our protest is not just for the sake of protest. That's the difference between those who stay and those who leave.

The leaders of the tent protest, Daphne Leef among them, came to visit the encampment, and were greeted by yelling and swearing. Some of the activists demanded that she leave the area, but others calmed them down and sat down to talk to her.

There are similar sentiments from several homeless encampments in Jerusalem in that same article.

Here's limited coverage in English from the Jerusalem Post:
Student Union takes down its tent at TA Rothschild campsite

Quote:
The air of optimism was less apparent at the Levinsky Park tent city surrounded by the slums of the old central bus station neighborhood in south Tel Aviv, where in the mid-afternoon around a half-a-dozen African refugees and homeless people lay passed out on couches and mattresses in the mid-day sun.

One resident, a homeless woman named Rachel, said “what happens at other campsites has nothing to do with us. We are people with nothing left to lose and we aren’t going anywhere.”

Shlomo Ayalo, an Ethiopian-Israeli originally from Beit Shemesh, said “the people here aren’t going anywhere because they have nowhere to go. They’ve built a place here in the back door of Israel, for everyone, people of all religions and colors who have been forgotten about. They won’t pack up.”

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Sep 4 2011 17:31

In other news,

Israel's National Labor Court rules medical residents' resignation illegal

Quote:
The National Labor Court in Jerusalem ruled on Sunday that the resignation of hundreds of resident doctors is illegal, and that they must return to work without delay. The resignation letters of 669 residents went into effect Sunday morning, and hospitals across Israel were bracing to operate on emergency footing.

The residents are protesting the collective wage agreement signed 10 days ago between the treasury and the Israel Medical Association, which they say was signed without consulting them or meeting their major demands.

If you're getting treated in Israel, note that you are likely getting your care at gunpoint.

Mark.
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Sep 4 2011 22:18

Ynet: Tent cities to undergo re-organization

Quote:
"The protest is moving into phase two," protest leader Daphni Leef told Ynet. "Some of the tents will naturally be dismantled while others will become larger, grow stronger and prepare for winter. Some of them will turn into community centers where the public would be able to continue meeting and talking."

Yoni Levy, one of the protest initiators, said that during the upcoming week, "each encampment will decide how to proceed… Some tent cities will join other encampments. Others will choose to stay in the field. Some, like Tel Aviv's tent city, will undergo a re-organization process and become a center for permanent meetings of the protesters' community."

According to Stav Shaffir, another social protest leader, "We're not making history, we're creating the future. Israeli society has undergone changes. This summer was just our warm-up, the toughest battle is still ahead."

"Tomorrow the tents will be centralized and turned into community centers, where the people can determine their future."
 
Social protest leaders explained the tents and other equipment will be moved to central locations in each city, turning the tent communities into smaller, more permanent gathering spots for lectures, meetings and demonstrations to keep the social justice battle alive.

Tents once spread out along the Rothschild Avenue have become fewer in numbers, some replaced by defined public areas instead.

The famous public kitchen in Tel Aviv's tent city is also expected to move indoors, ahead of the cold days of winter yet to come.

However, contrary to the social leaders' announcements, many activists claimed Rothschild's tent city will not be evacuated.
 
"There are two main groups here: Homeless people with nowhere to go and idealists, who must remain here if they want to turn the encampment into a community center," Yoav Fekete, a tent city representative, told Ynet.

"No one is really going to evict me from my tent," he added. "We must remember that there are people here without any solution… and we're not going to abandon them."

http://twitter.com/#!/nsheizaf

Quote:
Israeli police getting ready 2 evacuate tent camp @ Jessy Cohen, 1 of poorest neighborhoods around TLV, occupied mainly by homeless ppl #J14
44 minutes ago

ppl at Jesse Cohen tent camp store petrol and vow to fight police, #J14 activists present at place as well
43 minutes ago

Israeli police also about to evacuate tent camp in Bat Yam (South of TLV), ppl at site determined to stay, ask 4 support #J14
41 minutes ago

Other tent sitescamps, including Jerusalem and many tents in TLV, decided to stop camping, saying "protest moving to 2ed stage" #J14
40 minutes ago

Report from Jesse Cohen: MK Dov Khenin managed to postpone evacuation #J14
38 minutes ago

Correction: ppl @ Jesse Cohen not homeless, mostly poor families waiting 4 public housing (which government stopped building) @kereneubach
37 minutes ago

Another report from Jesse Cohen tent camp: no final word on evacuation, activists still urging ppl to come to the place, help locals #J14
25 minutes ago

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Chilli Sauce
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Sep 5 2011 06:56

How cold is an Israeli winter, out of curiosity?

Also, a lot of the current article seems to suggest the activist element of the movement is very student-dominated. How true it this? How are Israeli workers relating to the encampments and the movement in general?

Mark.
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Sep 5 2011 11:13

Chilli - I haven't been to Israel in winter but I lived in Athens for a while and I'd guess that winters are similar, with the weather breaking some time in October or November followed by a couple of months of English style cloud and rain and then mostly blue skies but cold from January onwards. I've seen pictures of Jerusalem in the snow but I think that must be pretty unusual.

That last link from Tojiah mentions medical residents taking part in Saturday's march and I think they've been quite involved all along. I haven't seen much else about people taking part as organised workers though I might be missing something. I expect Tojiah could answer this better than me.

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Tojiah
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Sep 5 2011 15:26
Chilli Sauce wrote:
How cold is an Israeli winter, out of curiosity?

Also, a lot of the current article seems to suggest the activist element of the movement is very student-dominated. How true it this? How are Israeli workers relating to the encampments and the movement in general?

I'm afraid my information is somewhat second hand, as I am no longer around there, but officially (as in through the student union), the students are very dominant, as we have seen in their leader's ability to lower activity unilaterally after the Eilat attack. Nevertheless, I don't think Leef is a student. A lot of the voices you hear there are simply middle-class people feeling dragged down to poverty, so they're no longer students. And, of course, in the less "fancy" encampments, you have workers and unemployed, for which this is very much a housing and social wage issue. Hence their options of simply packing things up and going home aren't very good (as they either have no home or their home is no better than an impromptu tent/cardboard hut). But I am getting this through sources such as 972 and the mainstream Israeli media, so I don't think I'm better informed than you.

Also, Israeli winter is pretty much like an English winter. I think temperatures fall to 15 highs and 10 lows Centigrade, and you get regular rain and thunder. Snow in Jerusalem comes about once every four years for a day or so, it's actually much colder than most of the rest of the country due to elevation.

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Sep 5 2011 16:06

The hunger strike didn't last long:
Residents, interns end hunger strike after one day (JPost.com)

Quote:
Residents and interns at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, on Monday ended the hunger strike they began on Sunday.

The hunger strike was a response to a National Labor court ruling on Sunday that the mass simultaneous tendering of resignation letters by residents and interns was illegal.

Can't find this in English, but the significant raise that all new police officers were promised turned out to be a scam:
A Revolution in Policemen's Salary? "I Feel Cheated." (Ynet.co.il, Hebrew)
To summarize, it turns out that there are many requirements to be eligible for a pay raise, including getting out to police courses which are back-logged for senior cops as it is. A lot of mid-level officers feel cheated, as well, because they convinced lower-grade officers to stay with this upcoming raise as an argument.

Mark.
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Sep 5 2011 22:33

Translation of Daphni Leef's speech from Saturday night -- (profile here)

------

Haaretz: Israeli cities pressure activists to take down protest tents

Mark.
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Sep 7 2011 10:23

Haaretz: Israel Police raid social protest tent encampments in Tel Aviv

Quote:
Police raided the tent encampment on Rothschild Boulevard in central Tel Aviv early on Wednesday morning and cleared some of the remaining tents there.

The police were accompanied by municipal inspectors and cleaning workers.

Tents and other equipment were also cleared from encampments at Nordau Boulevard, Ben-Gurion Boulevard and Levinsky Park in Tel Aviv.
[…]
At around 3:30 A.M., municipal workers started to load tents onto three trucks, Yishai Sakali, a founder of the tent encampment on Nordau Boulevard, said. The tents contained personal possessions and many were occupied, according to Sakali.

“Those guarding the tent protest city, and the people sleeping there, woke up from the noise of the workmen and prevented them from continuing [the clearing],” Sakali added.

“Half of the original tent protest site is left. They took it down with no court injunction, with no warning, including personal possessions, including the destruction of tents that cannot be restored and this was after a clear guarantee that we got from the municipality that there would not be any eviction without coordination,” Sakali said.

Some of the tent city dwellers plan on going to the police to present complaints over theft of property. “We are continuing the tent city activities as usual,” Sakali added.

Yoav Fekete, from the Rothschild Boulevard encampment, said that municipal workers and police came to the site a little before 5 A.M. They started to clear away tents on the southern portion of the boulevard, making their way northward.

“People came out of the tents to go to work, the inspectors came two minutes after that and loaded the tents onto trucks with all the personal belongings in them," Fekete said. "They put tents that were intact into garbage trucks. Yesterday, they passed here and distributed notices saying that they want to cooperate with us and then they cleared tents away illegally. They are laughing at us and there is nothing we can do. We are not violent people.”

Ynet: Tel Aviv Municipality clears out protest tents

http://twitter.com/#!/J14ENG

Quote:
Much of Tel Aviv encamps. force evicted at 5:30AM. Personal belongings sent to dumpsters.
5 hours ago

Most of the Rothschild encampment has been been razed. Only the most populated sections were left.
5 hours ago

Massive forces evicting Jesse Cohen encampment, Holon. Please get there if you can!
2 hours ago

Report from Jesse Cohen: Encamp. being demolished. Tens of police squads block access to residents and supporters
2 hours ago

Today at 4PM a demo in front of Tel Aviv-Jaffa city hall to protest evictions. Important!
2 hours ago

From the Levinsky encamp. Page: Police and #TLV inspectors tried to evict us at 6AM. They failed.
2 hours ago

Police demolished the Jessy Cohen tent city in Holon. This is a poor neighborhood and some of the camp's inhabitants are homeless.
1 hour ago

First photos from eviction of protest camp in Jesse Cohen neighborhood http://www.flickr.com/photos/activestills/6122881251/in/photostream
1 hour ago

Mark.
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Sep 7 2011 21:21

Tel Aviv: Social protesters clash with police (Ynet)

Photos

Mark.
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Sep 8 2011 10:04

From +972

Tent protestors signal growing trend of civil disobedience

Quote:
While reading reports in the top stories of Israeli news sites that 40 people got arrested in front of the Tel Aviv municipality last night (Wednesday) and seeing photos of them getting forcefully and dramatically dragged away by police, it occurred to me that these are not sights one often sees inside Israel or in the top stories of the Israeli newspapers.

I am accustomed to seeing such images of Jewish Israelis confronting authorities, mostly in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, protesting against the occupation in one form or another, usually alongside Palestinians. The Anarchists Against the Wall have been doing it in the West Bank and The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement has been doing it East Jerusalem and throughout Israel.

But in these images of the J14 movement, the struggle is not about Israeli policies in the occupied territories or Israeli-Palestinian relations, but rather internal socioeconomic affairs. And the people getting arrested now are not the same people who get arrested regularly in places like Bil’in, Sheikh Jarrah and Nabi Saleh (although there is surely some overlap). Rather, they are the tent protest leaders.

This is a unique phenomenon, at least in the last couple of decades (the Black Panthers did produce similar images back in the 1970’s). The Israeli activists who are protesting housing prices and economic policies are using the tactics of civil disobedience that those in the activist left have been employing. Those who got arrested yesterday “imported” this model of action into the social protests taking place in Israel’s liberal and cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv: The act of going to a location that has significance to the struggle (in this case the municipality and the mayor’s residence) chanting certain slogans and demands, and then engaging in an act of civil disobedience by doing a kind of sit-in and getting arrested. The willingness of these Israelis to pay a heavy price for their beliefs, by getting arrested and potentially accruing a criminal record, is indicative of a certain resolve and conviction in the cause that we have not necessarily seen up until now in the relatively calm, family-oriented, festival-like demonstrations we have seen thus far.

And apparently it also yields results, as a news site in Hebrew is reporting that the protestors won an appeal to put a freeze on the city’s move to evacuate the tent encampments throughout Tel Aviv (including the main camps on Rothschild and Levinsky), until a hearing between the two sides is held. The hearing is set to take place later today.

September journey part 7: Enter violence

Joint Palestinian-Israeli statement supporting J14, end to occupation

Mark.
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Sep 8 2011 18:35

From +972 again

Clampdown on J14: Main camps evicted, at least 40 arrested

Dimi Reider wrote:
Over forty people were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday as protesters and municipal inspectors backed by special forces and police engaged in a furious tug-of-war over the continued operation of the J14 protest camps. In Tel Aviv, municipal inspectors have swept along the main camp of the movement on Rothschild Boulevard, ostensibly removing only “disused” tents for “sanitary reasons.” Activists say many of the tents were simply unoccupied at the precise moment of eviction but still contained valuable personal possessions, including laptops. Attempts were also made to evict the protest camp in Lewinsky Park, the base of the most underpriviliged of J14 protesters – including migrant workers, refugees and Palestinian Israelis.

Further south, in the city of Holon, special forces and police moved in to clear the Jesse Cohen camp. The camp includes several wooden shacks against which demolition orders were issued already several weeks ago, and many of the camp’s members don’t have any other homes. On Tuesday evening, some of the key organisers of the camp were arrested in their homes, before police isolated the camp and demolished the shacks. The activists vowed to continue rebuilding the encampment.

The high point of protesters’ backlash against the evictions was so far Wednesday afternoon, when several hundred blocked the street in front of the Tel Aviv municipality, before making their way in and staging a sit in. Eyewitnesses said responded in force, crashing into the crowd and arresting some forty people. Most were released later in the day or on Thursday morning, but seven were singled out an extended remand and the possible pursuit of criminal charges for unauthorised gathering and assaulting police officers. The charges are yet to be served.

The week has also served to expose rifts and organisational weaknesses within the movement. While at least two of the top national organisers of the J14 movement, Stav Shaffir and Daphni Leef have called on activists to come and help the Jesse Cohen protesters to resist the eviction attempts, the national leadership as a whole remained silent. The confusion and the lacklustre  may have to do with the abrupt departure of the National Union of Students, the most financially powerful, well-organised and centrist of the organisations making up the J14 coalition.

In what other organisers said was an uncoordinated and self-serving move, the head of the NUS, Itzik Shmuli, announced on Sunday the tent strategy was exhausted and the struggle needed to go on “through other means.” The union then proceeded to fold its portion of the tents on Rothschild and pull out. The day before, at the seminal 450,000-strong rally, Shmuli vowed “to protest like there are no negotiations and to negotiate like there is no protest.” On Thursday, a Facebook page was set up accusing Shmuli of creating the momentum for the municipalities to move against the tent camps. Shmuli had previously come under criticism for rushing into talks with the government-appointed Trachtenberg Committee, which fellow organisers said was mere distraction from actual reform.

Despite the clampdown, Wednesday ended with a brief respite for the Tel Aviv protesters, after a local magistrate’s court issued an injunction order against the municipality, pending a negotiated agreement. In Holon, however, where no such court intervention took place,  police moved in again on Thursday, first arresting all the males in the encampment and then demolishing the shacks again.

http://twitter.com/#!/dimireider

Quote:
Police are in main #j14 camp, arresting activists. West Bank tactics. If you don't visit the #occupation, the #occupation will visit you..
36 minutes ago

(con't) "Even if," I should say. I would wager some of those being detained are veteran and/or anti-occupation activists.
34 minutes ago

Acc to reports, they are looking for and identifying people who took part in the #j14 protest /yesterday/. Through photos.
31 minutes ago

Mark.
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Sep 10 2011 16:47
Mark.
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Sep 10 2011 20:19

Photos: "1000 discussion tables" Tel Aviv

Mark.
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Sep 14 2011 21:11

http://www.youtube.com/user/AwakeningIsrael

Quote:
These video clips are extracts from a larger documentary project we are currently filming in Israel about the protest movement and unprecedented grass roots mobilization that have developed across the country over the past month. As the movement has developed, we have been travelling to many of the over 70 tent camps that have sprung up in cities and towns all over Israel and speaking to a broad spectrum of people.

Follow the link for more video clips.

Mark.
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Sep 16 2011 11:33

J14 seems to have gone fairly quiet. It remains to be seen whether it's just a lull or whether the movement is fading away. For a pessimistic view there's this from Haaretz.

Here are some articles I missed before which give a bit more analysis. A couple of them refer to articles on 972 magazine which is currently offline (ibnreza: 'We are having an attack on the site. Not sure if it is political but we will back online soon').

Max Ajl: Social origins of the tent protests in Israel

Abir Kopty: The boundaries of July 14

Jews sans frontières: Dana and Blumenthal do Tel Aviv

Jews sans frontières: Blumenthal's defense