Human Rights March in Tel Aviv 311.
(photo credit: Moshe Rafaeli)
Some 2,000 people turned out for the third annual Human Rights March in Tel Aviv Friday morning.
RELATED:Ten arrested in Tel Aviv social justice protest
is being organized for the third year in a row by the Association for
Rights in Israel (ACRI) in collaboration with dozens of other local
human rights groups. Organizers say the recent social justice movement
that swept the
country over the summer, bringing hundreds of thousands of Israelis into
streets, will give the march added relevance.
Police said one protester was arrested for allegedly calling a police commander "Adolf Hitler." The suspect was taken for questioning.
groups representing different sectors participated in the
associated with Meretz, Israel Beiteinu, African refugee communities,
the gay community, and the Israeli-Arab advocacy group Adalah were all
protesters parodied far-right activists by dressing as Klu Klux Klan
members holding signs reading "Kahane was right," and "Kill the
(non-Jews) in order to save Israel."
The marchers gathered at Habima square, the
nexus of the summer’s social justice movement, and made its way to Rabin
Square for a midday protest.
marching in Tel Aviv Friday were a group of settlers demanding that
they too be guaranteed human rights. The group raised signs reading
"Human Rights: Also for Migron Residents" and "Settlers are people too."
Libby Lenkinski, ACRI’s director of
international relations, said Thursday that a lot had changed since last year’s
march – “mainly that hundreds of thousands of Israelis now know what it feels
like to get off the couch and march in support of something. Hopefully
some of that energy will translate tomorrow, both in numbers and
Lenkinski said she believed the march was coming at a time when
“Israel’s democratic principles are increasingly being called into question,”
citing what she referred to as “anti-democratic trends in legislation in the
Knesset [as well as] a public atmosphere that is hostile toward civil society
organizations and human rights organizations in general.”
that anti-democratic legislation was broken down into four categories: legislation
like the Nakba Law and the loyalty oath, which target the country’s Arab
minority; laws like the boycott and foreign funding laws that target civil
society and NGOs; legislation that limits the power of the High Court of Justice;
and legislation that limits freedom of speech.
Sunday will see a number
of additional protest actions, directed at what organizers say are the worsening
socioeconomic gaps in society.
Under the banner “Fed up with mortgages –
let’s strike back at the banks with a consumer boycott,” a protest set for
Sunday will begin with participants placing repossession notices on banks in
Also Sunday, a group of protesters will
be demonstrating outside the Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv, in a call
for social and economic reform.