Social justice protesters on Dizengoff Center bridge 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
A group of protesters climbed out onto the catwalk that connects the two sides
of Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Center on Wednesday afternoon, and threatened to jump to
The protesters were reportedly part of the Love Revolution
activist group, and the “Catwalk 8” were joined by colleagues who blocked
traffic outside the center during rush hour at one of the busiest junctions in
After Dizengoff Street was blocked, protesters formed a circle
on it and began reading statements about togetherness and despair, selfishness
and justice, among other principles.
The protest drew a large crowd of
curious onlookers, many of whom had been shopping at Dizengoff Center or on
their way to the mall when the street outside became jammed with cops and
There seemed to be a relatively even break between those
calling on the protesters to jump, and those chanting, “Don’t jump, change is
possible!” More than a few people joked that the protest could turn out to be a
viral ad for the new iPhone 5, as the catwalk was directly above a giant sign
for the “iDigital store” and only one floor above a competing sign for
After the first hour, police worked to clear the street,
detaining four people on suspicion of disturbing the peace.
One of those,
a petite blond who appeared to be no older than 20, had allegedly charged a
police van, demanding that a friend be let out. She then allegedly took a swing
at a cop’s face and was promptly reunited with her friend in the police
In lieu of demands, protesters handed out a manifesto of sorts,
which laid out their concerns.
“To our brothers and sisters – sometimes
there comes a point where you say, enough!” the note read. “Do you know the
feeling where you’re on the edge of the abyss, the feeling that we’ve reached
the edge? This is how we feel. Instead of coming together as one human family,
there are walls between us; instead of giving to one another, we are taking from
It concluded, “We have a prayer, that this extreme step
will bring forth a big revolution, a revolution that will bring us together,
bring us from selfishness to togetherness. Remember that you are more
beautiful than you know.”
In the end, after paramedics set up giant air
cushions on the street below the catwalk, the protesters unveiled a banner
reading “Love Revolution” to cheers from the crowd below.
thereafter, they unveiled two other banners which read the same, then chanted,
“Let’s all be human beings!” and climbed down from the catwalk one by
Police arrested all eight protesters afterward and are considering
pressing charges against them to recoup the fees accrued in the rescue effort.