Pitching a tent for justice: disabled Israelis continue protests for livable wage

The group plans to remain camped out outside Knesset until their demands are met.

October 23, 2017 20:54
1 minute read.
Pitching a tent for justice: disabled Israelis continue protests for livable wage

Demonstrators from 15 groups representing people with disabilities gather in their protest tent outside of the Knesset in Jerusalem yesterday.. (photo credit: SARAH LEVI)

Fifteen groups representing Israelis with disabilities pitched a tent outside the Knesset on Monday in an ongoing effort to raise their monthly allowance to equal the standard minimum wage of NIS 5,000.

It marked the first day of the next step in that effort after months of roadblocks throughout the country drew attention to the issue.

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Dissatisfied with last month’s agreement to allocate another NIS 4.2 billion toward the existing disability allowance budget over four years, group members said they will remain in the tent until their demands are met.

Some said they were prepared to camp out for at least a month. One member who requested anonymity told The Jerusalem Post, “It will take a month, maybe two.” Another said, “I’m ready for four months.”

By the middle of the afternoon there were approximately 20 people from various parts of the country in and around the tent.

In a statement titled “Disabled are Becoming Panthers,” the group said, “Representatives of 15 organizations for people with disabilities are currently in the protest tent because we strongly object to the current agreement. We invite all ministers, members of the Knesset, to the protest tent, including the prime minister, to join in solidarity and to immediately solve this problem and put an end to the plight of the disabled.”

Eyal Cohen, the group’s leader, said: “We will no longer be invisible. We will be here for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whatever it takes until our needs are met. If not, we will make [other] moves forward” He said some of those moves would come in the form of more roadblocks, some of which are being planned at the moment.

A small group of wheelchair- bound people said they had plans to block the Chords Bridge later on in the evening, however, haredi protests appeared to have foiled that plan.

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