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Thousands march in Tel Aviv; J14 protesters block J'lem light rail

The largest J14 protest this year ended without the arrests and police violence seen last week.

J14 protesters march in Tel Aviv, June 30, 2012 (photo: activestills.org)

Around 10,000 protesters marched in Tel Aviv yesterday (Saturday) in demand of social justice. This was the largest J14 protest this summer thus far, but it was a far cry from the size of similar rallies last year. Hundreds gathered in several other Israeli cities, including Haifa, Jerusalem and Afula. On the other hand, demonstrations last year also started out the same size after the first tent was erected on 14 July, and grew by the week – reaching half a million only in September.

>> Click here for video report on last week’s protest, which ended with 89 arrests >>

In Jerusalem, protesters blocked the route of the light rail. As part of an agreement between the city and the private company that runs the rail, demonstrations are not allowed near the route of the train, including in central squares which had been used for protests for decades.

In Tel Aviv, protesters marched from Habima Square to the museum square. Several hundred people split from the main rally, in protest against the organizers of the rally, who were more affiliated with the Labor (Avoda) party and much less so with the Mizrakhi neighborhoods and periphery, and marched through central Tel Aviv roads, swelling in size throughout the night. The police, which was criticized for the use of force against protesters last week, kept its distance and allowed the march to continue, but heavy police forces were present in the streets, including, for the first time, an unrecognizable armored vehicle, which appeared to serve as a mobile communications and photography base for police.

The protest in Tel Aviv included a block of protesters carrying signs against the occupation, the most common of them being “Democracy for all, from the sea to the Jordan.”

J14 protesters march on Begin road, near the Tel Aviv government building (photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

Read also:
Amidst hostile media and police violence, J14 finds new voice
Artists heed J14 call to boycott Tel Aviv ‘White Night’ events
WATCH: Thousands block highway, attack banks in J14 protest

J14 protesters block a street near government building in Tel Aviv, June 30 2012 (photo: activestills.org)

Anti Occupation protest during J14 demonstration in Tel Aviv, June 30 2012. Signs read: "unoccupy Palestine" and "democracy for all, from river to sea" (photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

J14 protester near a police armored vehicle in Tel Aviv, June 30 2012 (photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

J14 protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks in Tel Aviv, June 30 2012 (photo: JC/ Activestills.org)

Tent Protest action on Tel Aviv beach, June 30 2012 (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Tent Protest action on Tel Aviv beach, June 30 2012 (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

 

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  • COMMENTS

    1. XYZ

      Reminds me of the gigantic demonstrations and strikes in Paris in 1968. Almost closed the country down and De Gaulle had to run to the French Army commanders in West Germany to get their promise to step in should the government be on the verge of being overthrown. Just the dream situation I keep hearing from the Left/Progressives…a “mass uprising of the people” which they believe will bring the Progressives to power, finally, out of a belief that that is what the “masses” truly want.
      Well, De Gaulle dissolved parliament and called new elections. What happened. The RIGHT WON A GIGANTIC VICTORY. Be warned!

      Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      “Reminds me of the gigantic demonstrations and strikes in Paris in 1968″ although there’s no real resemblance at present and no sign that the country is closing down. The masses here want leadership and what they’re getting is procrastination and graft. The masses there wanted a left wing government and got a more centrist one in the shape of Pompidou when De Gaulle was forced to resign a year after that “GIGANTIC VICTORY”. And 6 years after it came Mitterand’s left-wing government. Be warned.

      Reply to Comment
    3. XYZ

      WRONG, SH.
      De Gaulle resigned in 1970. He was succeeded by George Pompidou, also of the Right. He died in 1974 and was replace by Valery Giscard d’Estaing, also of the Right. Finally, Mitterand got the nod in 1981. That is THIRTEEN years later.
      Mitterand was then followed by two more Presidents of the Right, from 1995 to 2012. That is 17 years.
      The “masses” do no inherently support the Left. Have all the demonstrations you want. These demonstrators in their clown suits represent a negligible minority that is hitchhikking on genuine grievances of the public. However the fact that someone may not particularly like the banks anymore than the anarchists do does not mean they support these anarchists.

      Reply to Comment
    4. sh

      How could I forget Giscard? So we’ll wait 17 years, XYZ. But it’s simple, XYZ. Without peace, Israel will not survive. And the peacemakers’ 14 years will come, wherever on the political spectrum they happen to be.
      Peace. Not to be confused with quiet.

      Reply to Comment
    5. sh

      PS there were no anarchists.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Kolumn9

      Sh, it is hard in Israel to confuse peace with quiet, since the peacemakers are so often accompanied by things blowing up. Strangely the quiet tends to correlate with right-wing governments. You are right, it really is simple. Every Israeli government that tries to make peace gets terrorism in return. The whole formula of Israel not being able to survive without peace is insane considering that long-term peace is simply not possible in the Middle East. Countries at ‘peace’ and with minimal territorial disputes are at each other’s necks time after time. The only way to survive in this region is to be strong. This utopia that you have in your mind of a peaceful Middle East is only overshadowed in its absurdity by the sole responsibility placed for its realization on the state of Israel.
      .

      XYZ, Though my memory doesn’t go that far it seems that you are flattering the left too much even with the comparison to the failed Paris protests of 1968.

      Reply to Comment
    7. XYZ

      K9-
      You are quite right, there really is no comparison. What I was attempting to point it is that even in the case where there was a really large-scale protest movement that came close to shutting the country down, it did not mean that the population was supporting the Left. The Right has been in power 30 of the 44 years since then, taking into account their recent election victory.
      The Left always has this dream of the “masses” rising up because they assume the “masses” think they way they do, which is nonsense. In Europe, there was the dream of the “general strike” which, for example, finally happened in Britain in IIRC 1926. In spite of that, the Left only finally came to power in 1945, and they were voted out in 1951. However, certain reforms the Left supported were ultimately accepted by the Conservatives.
      Why the Left assumes everything thinks like them when it is clear they don’t, is a question we need psychologists to answer, not political scientists.

      Reply to Comment
    8. sh

      Oh, look, Tweedledum and Tweedledee! Cute.

      Reply to Comment

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