Tent City Dismantled 311.
(photo credit: ben Hartman)
Activists at the center of the social issues protest movement are preparing a
schedule of events and protest actions for the coming weeks that will be
announced at a press conference on Tuesday morning in Jerusalem.
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resident Yonatan Levy, one of the initiators of the Rothschild tent city that
launched the movement, said on Monday that the steps will include a wide range
of initiatives beyond just street protests.
“We will see all types of
grassroots ideas and initiatives in the coming weeks in which people from tent
cities across the country will come up with to take the protest into the next
stage,” said Levy.
Levy said activists were meeting in Tel Aviv on Monday
to hammer out new protest measures for the post-street protests stage of the
movement, and that by Tuesday they should have a clearer idea of what’s
One protest action that will be launched this weekend in lieu of
street protests is the nation-wide “one thousand tables” initiative, to be held
in cities across Israel.
Organizers of the action say it will include the
holding of round-table discussions in which participants will debate how to solve
the quality of life issues facing Israel. According to the initiative’s Facebook
page the meetings will be “an unprecedented event” in which 1,000 tables will be
set up across the country “to hold transparent, straightforward discussions in
Tel Aviv and across Israel simultaneously.”
The Facebook page says the
protocols of the discussions will be posted on giant screens in real time at
each meeting and will be collected for further consultation by supporters of the
movement down the road.
In addition to the Tel Aviv Museum and Hamedina
Square in Tel Aviv, round-table discussions will also be held in Jerusalem, Tirat
Carmel, Rosh Pina, Tibon, Beersheba and Haifa, among others.
of what protest actions are taken, a stroll down Rothschild Boulevard makes it
clear the strip that only a few weeks ago was the throbbing heart of a protest
movement and 24/7 street festival, has become far more sedate, even if the
majority of the tents still remain.
Be it fatigue after more than seven
weeks of protests that reached their peak on Saturday, it’s clear that while the
movement is far from dead, it has reached a turning point in which the initial
vibrancy and excitement is no longer as apparent at street level.
said that changes taking place in the campsites, many of which are being
partially or fully broken down, was expected all along and doesn’t change the
seriousness of the protest.
“It was obvious all along that the stage
would come where the campsites would change or that some people would eventually
fold up their tents. We knew this all along. If the make-up of the campsites
change or if they take on a new form it doesn’t mean that the hopes or dreams of
people have changed.”
Levy, who in “the life he put on hold” as the
protest movement took off was the editor of the African migrant newspaper the
Refugee Voice, added that Saturday’s mass protest that brought over 400,000
Israelis into the streets across the country gives further inclination to
soldier on, rather than a reason to pack up and finish at the peak.
amazing show of strength that we put on Saturday night was a final and clear
answer that the people of Israel are behind this agenda. We are not going to
stop, there is an amazing energy in the air that should be utilized.”