About 4,000 demonstrators gather in central Tel Aviv o commemorate two years since the first tent was erected on Rothschild Boulevard. on July 14, 2011, launching the largest struggle for social justice in Israeli history – aka, the Israeli Summer or J14. The thousands of demonstrators for social justice marched from Rothschild Boulevard and Habima Square to the corner of Kaplan and Ibn Gvirol, where they were joined by about 200 activists who marched from the poorer Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv. The second group focused their protest on the demand for social housing. In the combined rally, speakers…Read More... | 9 Comments
J14 leader Daphni Leef has been charged with rioting, more than half a year after she was violently arrested during an attempt to reignite the protest movement of the summer of 2011. Her trial will begin on January 23. By Leehee Rothschild Look at this photo of Daphni Leef. Look at her, thrown at the floor, crushed under uniformed men - uniforms which define them as the guardians of law and order and give them the authority and power to use reasonable strength, allowing them to define what's reasonable. Look at them triding on her, pulling her, dragging her, beating…Read More... | 7 Comments
The following is a letter that activists from the M-15 social protests movement in Spain wrote to their friends in J14 An open letter from the M15 movement in Spain to the J14 movement in Israel: You will only be free when you decide to be free. When we see the assemblies of Kiryat Shmona, we see the assemblies in Granada. When we talk about the tents in Haifa, we talk about the tents in Barcelona. When we see the crowds taking to the streets in Tel-Aviv, it's the crowds of Madrid who do it. Different names for the same movement…Read More... | 20 Comments
On June 23, two protests took place in Tel Aviv. The first was a protest in response to incitement against the LGBT community by MK Anastasia Michaeli. The second was a spontaneous demonstration protesting the violence police employed against social justice activists the day before. Israel Social TV brings you coverage. This video was produced by Israel Social TV, an independent media NGO working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality, and to mobilize its viewers towards activism. Related: WATCH: Thousands block highway, attack banks in J14 protest Amidst hostile media and police violence, J14 finds new voice MK…Read More... | 1 Comment
Facebook in Israel has been flooded all day with reports of cultural figures and venues announcing their decision to boycott the annual 'White Night' events sponsored by the Tel Aviv Municipality, in reaction to the weekend's police violence; meanwhile, over 100 protesters showed up at City Hall on Monday evening and disrupted a planned no-confidence vote against the mayor. Following police brutality and violent arrests against protesters in Tel Aviv over the weekend, a variety of Israeli writers, artists and venues have announced that they will be boycotting Tel Aviv's White Night events this Thursday night. "White Night" is an annual…Read More... | 9 Comments
Some 4,000 demonstrators clashed with police for more than four hours last night in the streets of Tel Aviv, blocking roads, smashing a few bank windows and besieging the local municipality. More than 80 were arrested in the most energetic and enraged J14 protest yet. All throughout the winter, Israelis wondered if the summer of protests would make a comeback this year, and some warned that the second time around would not be as "polite." Last night (Saturday) thousands took to the streets of Tel Aviv and proved that the struggle for social justice has not ended – and that…Read More... | 18 Comments
One would be hard-pressed to name a dull year in the history of the Middle East, and 2011 was no exception. It shares its beginnings with a domino effect of popular protest, sparked in Tunisia, which would ultimately see the fall of regimes whose iron fists had been decades-old fixtures. Even Israelis suddenly seemed to share grievances with their neighbors, with hundreds of thousands joining the largest protest movement in the country’s history. But the hopes voiced in the streets of the world have been matched by crackdowns – notably in Syria, to this day – and diplomatic deterioration. Europe…Read More... | 2 Comments
Roee Ruttenberg reports for CCTV News on the return of social protests to the streets of Tel Aviv after an eight-week hiatus. The rally drew an estimated 70,000 people.Read More... | 5 Comments
After two months of allowing J14 protests to continue largely undisturbed, authorities moved heavily this week to dismantle the tent cities across the country. Several scores were arrested and police intends to press criminal charges against some organizers. 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…Read More... | 1 Comment
A week of anticipation and seven weeks of breathtaking national energy wrapped up - for this phase – with a massive rally in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina attended by roughly 300,000 people and over 100,000 in other parts of the country. An hour before, families streamed down the streets and people kneeled on the sidewalk with signs and magic markers, with cars picking their way through. There was a giddy feeling that the city belonged to the demonstrators. The speakers were excited but brought no real surprises: the lineup was a combination of the by-now-usual suspects and lesser-known figures from…Read More... | 12 Comments
The leaders of a civil society organization working for equality for the Palestinian citizens of Israel spoke on Tuesday before the Trachtenberg committee – the government-appointed panel charged with recommending steps to improve economic and social justice in Israel. The committee's invitation to Ron Gerlitz and Dr. Mary Totry of Sikkuy, the Association for Civil Advancement in Israel, might be partly a response to claims that the committee does not sufficiently represent Arabs in Israel. Headed by Harvard-trained economist Professor Manuel Trachtenberg, the panel was appointed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and has generated widespread criticism. One sort of criticism actually…Read More... | 2 Comments
I'm surprised it hasn't been said sooner and has not been further exploited and disseminated in Israeli media: Daphni Leef - the woman who pitched the first tent that sparked the J14 tent protest movement and whose face is most identified with it - did not serve in the army (gasp!) I first learned of this on Sunday, when Daphni Leef was interviewed on TV (Hebrew) following the low turnout for the social protests Saturday night. (Although I'm sure anyone interested could have found this out earlier by digging around, looking at comments on Facebook about her or even by…Read More... | 14 Comments
The J14 movement’s most significant achievements lie not in the political realm, but in the ways in which it has challenged and blurred commonsensical categories and distinctions involving space, time, language, and class. At the same time, one critical category remains as stable as ever By Thom 1. This struggle is between order and disorder. This struggle is between the attempt to organize the world coherently and the challenge to this attempt, which reveals its inherent support of the social status quo. This struggle is about the power to destabilize that which is taken for granted, along with its constitutive…Read More... | 4 Comments
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