Protesters decry ‘police brutality’ outside police station

Rally occurs after city workers take down tents on Rothschild; protesters arrested and released after last rally gave roses to police to show non-violent intent.

By
September 12, 2011 02:40
2 minute read.
A social protest march in Tel Aviv.

social protest silent march 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/ Nir Elias)

 
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A few dozen protesters held a rally outside the Yarkon subdistrict police station in north Tel Aviv on Sunday afternoon, to protest what they said was “police brutality” during a hectic rally outside Tel Aviv City Hall last Wednesday in which over 40 people were arrested.

The protest was much smaller and tamer than Wednesday’s, and police outside the station on Dizengoff Street mainly just stood and watched the proceedings, occasionally telling protesters to stay out of the street.

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Last Wednesday’s protest came hours after cleaning crews were sent by the municipality in the middle of the night to clear out the tent city on Rothschild Boulevard, a day after city hall clerks handed out fliers at the tent city saying that residents had until the High Holy Days begin at the end of September to clear out. One of the main complaints of protesters on Sunday was that, according to them, the police on duty at Wednesday’s rally did not wear name tags, supposedly to avoid being identified.

Wednesday’s protest started out tame but quickly escalated as protesters began throwing eggs at the entrance to city hall and trying again and again to force their way in.

Later on during the protest, a car was seen fleeing the municipality, and when protesters caught word that it might be Mayor Ron Huldai’s vehicle, they swarmed it in a failed attempt to block its exit.

Yoav Reinhorn was arrested outside city hall on Wednesday, and on Sunday he walked around the station trying to hand out roses and lilies to police officers.

Reinhorn said the point of the flowers was “to show that we aren’t coming from a violent place and the protest is not a violent one. As you can see, though, no officers agreed to accept a flower from us.”

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Eventually a few female officers accepted white roses.

“I was one of those arrested on Wednesday and I want to protest how we were treated during the demonstration and the investigation afterward.

There was violence used throughout the protest against people who did nothing.

When I asked police to identify themselves they ignored me,” Reinhorn said.

Another protester, Shahar Davidman, said she came because she “heard about the violence used by police at the protest last week. This is very worrying, that they would act like this,” she said, citing what she said were reports she heard of undercover policemen arbitrarily arresting protesters.

Also on Sunday, the National Union of Israeli Students announced plans to barge in and interrupt a speech to be given by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz later that evening at a conference at Tel Aviv University.

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