This post has been updated, 23 November, 2011.
By Noam Sheizaf and Dahlia Scheindlin
Protesters clashed with police on Tuesday evening after a demonstration against a string of anti-democratic legislative initiatives recently brought forth in the Knesset. Some 200 people demonstrated in front of the headquarters of the ruling Likud party, blocking King George Street in the center of the city. Police sprayed the protesters with pepper spray and at least one person was arrested.
The protesters had marched from a larger demonstration of about 2000 people held earlier in the evening at the square of the Habima Theater at the end of Rothschild Blvd., the birthplace of the summer tent protest. The demonstration had been called in opposition to a series of laws that are widely perceived to threaten democratic freedoms. The most recent of these was the new version of Israel’s libel law, which passed the first reading in Knesset on Monday; but the leaders of the protest read out a series of laws currently being debated, including legislation to change the makeup of the panel that chooses Supreme Court judges and the process of their confirmation, legislation against foreign funding for NGOs, and laws passed earlier this year, such as the laws allowing acceptance committees for small communities in Israel.
Protesters, many wearing masking tape or masks over their mouths to symbolize the repression of freedom of speech, railed against what they called the extreme right-wing government, chanting “When the left gets together, the right gets frightened!” and “The response to the legislation – revolution!” and the main refrain: “No-confidence!” By contrast to the social protests of the summer, this was an explicit anti-government protest.
More photos of the demonstration, all by ActiveStills: