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Stav Shaffir among 23 arrested in tent city protest

ByJPOST.COM STAFF,
January 8, 2012 05:19

Social protest leader posts on Facebook while detained in police van: "In the end we'll see a good place here."

Protesters block street in south Tel Aviv

Protesters block street in south Tel Aviv 311. (photo credit:Or Yizhar and Orly Barlev)

Social justice movement leader Stav Shaffir was among the 23 arrested Saturday night during the demonstration against plans to remove protest tents in south Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood.

Hundreds of people took part in a march that began at Gan Hatikva and proceeded toward Yigal Allon Street. Police said the gathering was illegal. The evacuation was scheduled to take place on Sunday morning.

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While detained in a police van Shaffir posted a message on Facebook: "Many people who have homes protested tonight together with those who don't. We have already been fighting together for six months for our state's future. It's not easy, and it will only become harder and harder, but in the end we'll see a good place here, a truly good place, for all of us. Amen. "

The demonstration was attended by several more of the organizers of Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard tent city, including Dafni Leef.

Police said that protesters had blocked the intersection of Hagana and Yigal Allon streets. They later blocked Lod Street.

MK Dov Henin (Hadash) strongly condemned the police's conduct at the demonstration, calling it "violent."

"The tent city in Hatikva neighborhood does not exist by way of protest but due to lack of choice.  The role of the municipality is to find solutions for them... I call to prevent the evacuation of the tents and to immediately release the detainees," said Henin.

In a press release publicizing the protest, organizers said: “The Hatikva tent encampment has served as a home for the past six months for single mothers, families, parents, children and the elderly – homeless and the direct victims of the establishment’s unsympathetic and irresponsible policies.”

The statement slammed the government for evacuating the encampment without providing a plan for alternative housing for those living there.

“Today we will all come to support the residents of the encampment and say to the prime minister: ‘In the State of Israel, a person will not be tossed from street to street – no evacuation without housing solutions.’”
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