TA Activists threaten suicide 'for social justice'

"Love Revolution" protesters block Dizengoff Street, call to break down "walls between us."

September 19, 2012 20:08
2 minute read.
Social justice protesters on Dizengoff Center brid

Social justice protesters on Dizengoff Center bridge 370. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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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 their deaths.

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 Tel Aviv.

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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 protesters.

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 Samsung.

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 van.

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 one another.”

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.

Shortly 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 one.

Police arrested all eight protesters afterward and are considering pressing charges against them to recoup the fees accrued in the rescue effort.

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