‘Social justice’ movement postpones nationwide strike

Announcement comes after low turnout at rallies; movement set to launch series of activities to mark opening of Knesset winter session.

October 31, 2011 03:33
2 minute read.
Protest leaders speak in front of the Knesset

daphne leef stav shafir 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The social justice movement will delay a planned nationwide strike scheduled for this week, saying that it needs more time to work out logistics.

“The peoples’ strike” was originally planned for Tuesday, and according to organizers was to take place across the country. The strike’s Facebook event page had nearly 5,000 RSVPs by the time the delay was announced on Sunday.

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The announcement was made the day after a series of protests was held by the movement across the country on Saturday.

The protests brought in 20,000 to 30,000 demonstrators in Tel Aviv and thousands elsewhere, much fewer than the demonstrations that took place over the summer, including September 3’s “March of the Million,” in which more than 400,000 people took part.

Though the peoples’ strike is being delayed, the movement is still set to launch a series of activities at the Knesset on Monday, to mark the opening of the parliament’s winter session.

In a statement released by leaders of the movement, protesters are planning a sort of ongoing vigil that will take place throughout the coming Knesset session, a constant show of force that will make it hard for lawmakers to ignore the movement. They also say it will help the public remain informed about the happenings within the parliament.

According to Daphni Leef, the 26- year-old Tel Avivian widely seen as the leader of the movement, activists will arrive at the Knesset on Monday “in order to work in and with the Knesset throughout the coming plenum. The MKs and ministers who have in recent months ignored the hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding social justice will need to deal with the activists that will sit inside and outside the Knesset. We will not falter until we attain our demands!” Esti Segel, one of the organizers of the Knesset vigil, was quick to point out on Sunday that the action was by no means a protest.

“We aren’t going to the Knesset to protest, we are going there to observe and take part in the democratic process.”

Segel added “all through the summer there were decisions made by the Knesset, and we know that this is where the decisions affecting the movement are made. Therefore, we will go there to observe the process, in the plenum, in the committees, in the corridors, and to keep the public informed.

She said that the action shouldn’t be seen as one of animosity, in that “we are not against the Knesset or the parliamentarians, we want to work with them and our democracy is very dear to us.”

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