Quarter of a million people protesting throughout country

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
August 6, 2011 21:32

Over 190,000 estimated to be protesting throughout TA against high cost of living; activists chanting "nation demands social justice!"; police close several streets; tens of thousands protesting in J'lem, North.

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Tens of thousands demonstrate throughout TA, Sat.

tel aviv saturday demonstration_311. (photo credit: Channel 10 News)

Tens of thousands of people on Saturday marched from throughout the streets of Tel Aviv for the third consecutive Saturday as part of massive demonstrations over the high cost of living in the country.

Channel 2 News said an estimated 170,000 people turned out for the demonstration in Tel Aviv, and a total of over 200,000 people were believed to be protesting through the entire country, chanting "The nation demands social justice!"

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The activists set out from the Rothschild tent city at 9 p.m. and headed down Ibn Gvirol Boulevard to Kaplan Street, where a rally was being held along the entire length of the street, in front of the Interior Ministry building and the IDF headquarters.

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The Student Union announced that more than 50 buses have transported students from academic institutions across the country to Tel Aviv so they could attend the massive march and rally.

Prior to the start of the main march, hundreds marched from the tent city at Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv to Rothschild Boulevard, where they linked up with the main campsite.

Around 1,000 people also held a social justice demonstration at Hashomrim Junction, near Yokneam.

Police say the demonstrators were not interfering with traffic.

In Jerusalem, some 17,000 demonstrators gathered in Jerusalem's Gan Hasus (Horse Park) to take part in the "social justice" protests, according to Channel 2 News.

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A rally is set be held in Jerusalem's Paris Square after the march.

Earlier Saturday, police in Tel Aviv began deploying and roads were closed to traffic over 12 hours before a mass rally that social justice organizers hope will top last week's estimated nationwide turnout of 150,000, saying that after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu passed his housing reform law in the Kneest, "there's more anger now.

Rehov Kaplan in Tel Aviv, a major traffic artery, was closed to traffic. Other Tel Aviv streets will be closed Saturday evening ahead of the third weekly march put on by the housing movement calling for "social justice."

Stretches of Ibn Gvirol, Dizengoff, Ben Zion and Rothschild were closed down at 7pm ahead of the march. Police were deploying in large numbers Saturday morning, with hundreds set to take to the streets to protect marchers and maintain order ahead of the rally. Kaplan was expected to reopen at 4 a.m. Sunday morning, while the other streets were expected to reopen for traffic shortly after midnight.

Furious over what they call repeated government rejection of their demands, protesters hoped to hold “the mother of all demonstrations” across Israel on Saturday.


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