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  • Asylum seekers call on Europe to try Eritrean leader for crimes against humanity

    Thousands of Eritrean asylum seekers demonstrate in front of the European Union Embassy in support of a UN Commission of Inquiry to examine human rights abuses by the Eritrean dictatorship. By Inbal Ben Yehuda Over 2,000 Eritrean asylum seekers demonstrated in front of the European Union Embassy in Ramat Gan on Tuesday in support a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry examining human rights violations in their home country. [tmwinpost] The protesters marched from Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv toward the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Ramat Gan, where the EU building is located. The organizers brought…

  • Photos of the week: Border Police bloopers

    This week: Border Police bloopers in Bil'in, asylum seekers in Tel Aviv, Palestinian activists launch campaign in the Jordan Valley, anti-Arab graffiti in Silwan, ultra-orthodox Jews against the draft in Jerusalem, a far-right politician hands out award for McCarthyism in Israeli schools, and solidarity outside Holot 'open' detention center.                        

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  • PHOTOS: African asylum seekers renew protests with sit-in

    Protest leaders vow to continue their struggle until a solution is found. Some 1,000 maintain sit-in at Levinsky Park. Photos by: Oren Ziv, Tali Mayer, Keren Manor, Yotam Ronen /   A renewed asylum seeker protest entered its fourth day on Wednesday as 1,000 African asylum seekers maintained a sit-in at south Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Park. “The struggle didn't stop,” Walla News cited Darfuri asylum seeker and protest leader Mutasim Ali as saying, “it will continue until there is a solution.” Things are only getting worse for asylum seekers since the protests began, he explained, citing the large number…

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  • WATCH: Rapper Jasiri X visits African refugees in south Tel Aviv

    At the same time that a group of prominent African-American journalists and artists was touring Israel and Palestine earlier this month, African asylum seekers in Tel Aviv were taking to the streets to demand basic rights and refugee status. For rapper-activist Jasiri X, being so close to the refugee protests compelled him to come and see their struggle with his own eyes, he explained. “It’s been heartbreaking," JasiriX told Israel Social TV at Levinski Park in south Tel Aviv. Media reports on Israel/Palestine are often whitewashed versions of the real story, he added, “so to come here and see and hear…

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  • African asylum seekers: We will continue to strike until demands are met

    African asylum seekers held a press conference Tuesday in south Tel Aviv, where they announced that they will continue their "Strike For Freedom" until further notice. Representatives of the community from Sudan, Eritrea and Central African Republic spoke in both Hebrew and English about why they have been on strike and holding protests, and outlined their demands. The speakers at the press conference all repeated several messages: that the African refugee community is made up of human beings fleeing slavery, danger and war; they are not scary, as the government likes to portray them; the protests are non-violent; there are…

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  • PHOTOS: Thousands of African asylum seekers protest prolonged detention in Tel Aviv

    Photos: Oren Ziv/, Yotam Ronen/ Text: Haggai Matar Approximately 2,000 African asylum seekers and Israeli activists marched from Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv to Rothschild Boulevard Saturday night to protest the arrests that took place during two "freedom marches" earlier this week. They blocked major intersections in the heart of the city while chanting "freedom!" At least three protesters were arrested. Earlier this week, a group of approximately 150 asylum seekers went on a two-day "freedom march" from the Holot "open prison" in Israel's south to the Knesset in Jerusalem. Upon their arrival, the group was arrested, placed on…

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  • Eritrean refugees gather to mourn victims of Lampedusa shipwreck

    Eritrean refugees gathered Saturday in south Tel Aviv's Levinsky Park to mourn and honor the victims of the Lampedusa shipwreck. Over 100 victims, all African refugees, died after a boat carrying them to Europe sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, on October 3. About 150 others are still reported as missing. Some Eritreans living in Israel had family members aboard the ship. Photos: Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen /  

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  • PHOTOS: Migrants celebrate new year amidst rightist march

    Despite a demonstration led by MK Michael Ben-Ari calling for mass deportations, and alongside a heavy police presence, south Tel Aviv's immigrants celebrated the new year. As 2012 came to an end, the situation of the thousands of migrant workers and asylum seekers in Israel remains as uncertain as ever. As a grim reminder of the past year and an omen for what is yet to come, MK Michael Ben-Ari and his extreme-right supporters held another protest calling for the immediate expulsion of all "infiltrators" as a supposed solution to all of South Tel Aviv's problems, leading to the deployment…

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  • Asylum seekers arrested in Tel Aviv raid after authorities announce holiday reprieve

    Immigration authorities announced a halt to arrests during the holidays. But just before the announcement went into effect, and as holiday preparations and celebrations got underway in south Tel Aviv, asylum seekers found themselves under arrest and at risk of deportation. By Rami Gudovitch Friday was a rainy day in Tel Aviv. The head of the immigration authorities, Amnon Ben Ami, had issued a press release promising to cease all arrest operations for the duration of the Christian holidays and New Year’s Eve. The Levinsky Park multi-lingual library, an open library located at the center of the park, was closed…

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  • A week in photos: August 22-29

    Demolitions and arrests in the West Bank, solidarity with Rachel Corrie's family, preparing for war, and more. Activestills images tell the stories of the week. Activestills is a collective of Israeli, international and Palestinian photographers, united by a conviction that photography is a vehicle for political and social change. To stay updated on our latest images, like Activestills on Facebook  or follow @activestills on Twitter. You can also visit our flickr photostream.

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  • After race riots, Israelis celebrate holiday with African kids

    An unexpected bright spot in south Tel Aviv yesterday, less than a week after the race riots: Israelis celebrated Shavuot with the children of African asylum seekers in Levinsky Park, the public space next to the Central Bus Station that has become a hub for the migrant community. As I have done countless times over the past four years that I have been covering and researching migrant workers and African asylum seekers in Israel, I spent most of yesterday hanging out in south Tel Aviv, conducting man-on-the-street interviews. After last week's race riots, the mood in the area is dark,…

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