Protest leaders harness social media to maintain momentum

“We have already called on the gov't to create a social budget for 2012 and we want to get that message across to as many people in any way that we can,” explains movement spokesman.

By
September 14, 2011 03:53
2 minute read.
social protest platform Avaaz.org.

social protest platform Avaaz.org screenshot. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Leaders of this summer’s tent city protests, which drew hundreds of thousands of supporters from across the country demanding social justice and improved economic conditions, are continuing their fight by widening their usage of social media platforms to reach as many people as possible, The Jerusalem Post learned Tuesday.

“We have already called on the government to create a social budget for 2012 and we want to get that message across to as many people in any way that we can, social media is one of the ways we can do this,” explained a spokesman for the protest movement.

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On Sunday, Daphni Leef, one of the movement’s leader and the woman that started the mass protest in Tel Aviv on July 14, launched a petition on social protest platform Avaaz.org.

While the petition appears online in both Hebrew and English, the movement’s spokesman said it was not a new tactic to raise awareness to the social battle among Jewish communities in the Diaspora, but the goal is rather to get their message out on as many platforms and formats as possible.

“This summer Israel has changed and there is no going back,” starts the petition, which in less than three days has already been signed by more than 5000 people.

It continues: “Our voice – the voices of citizens from all walks of life across the country has been heard – loud, clear and full of hope. Last weekend many asked what next? It is time to call the government to answer our demands and change the national agenda.”

According to the petition, which aims to get more than 20,000 online signatories before it is sent to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, the focus has moved from getting people out onto the streets – a very successful tactic over the past two months – to lobbying the government to make some real changes that will improve the living conditions in Israel.

“Now it is time for our representatives to respond to our demand and vote on a new budget for 2012,” it says, urging “if enough of us join this call to PM Netanyahu and finance minister Steinitz now, we could force them to cancel the current budget and draft a new one – a social budget that would propose solutions to our key demands.”

Published in more than 14 languages, including Hebrew and Arabic, Avaaz is a New York-based global web movement aimed at bringing people- powered politics to decision- making everywhere.

Since its inception in 2007, Avaaz, which means voice in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages, aims to “organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.”

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