(photo credit: benjamin spier)
The tent city on Rothschild Boulevard, the flagship location for the
social justice protests of this past summer, is slowly becoming a ghost
town after the Tel Aviv municipality began dismantling it.
Therefore, the social protest leaders have taken the movement into a new
direction and into a new location. Still remaining on Rothschild
Boulevard, they are squatting in the abandoned building dubbed "Beit
Ha'am” – or the people's house.
Amit Youlzari is the editor-in-chief of the recently established news
website JI4.org.il, the official website of the social protest movement
that aims to promote independent journalism.
According to Youlzari, moving the protests from the temporary structures
of tents, into the permanent three storied building of Beit Ha'am, was a
significant and symbolic move.
“The owner is a private businessman, not the municipality; and we are
here with permission,” said Youlzari. “Amazing people are coming here to
create events and provide culture for the community.”
The JI4 website aims to keep the momentum going and ensures that the
original goals of the social protest movement remain active. The website
doesn't promote any political agendas and its contributors are all
volunteer writers and journalists. In this fashion, JI4 reflects the
ideals of the social protest movement, which aims to help all groups
that are in need, regardless of their affiliations.
When asked if there are any politicians that currently represent the
social justice movement or if he thinks a new party will be created for
the next elections, Youlzari said they still haven’t decided which way
the movement will go politically.
“We want to see the politicians in Israel talking about social justice,”
said Youlzari. “We want the next elections, in less than 2 years, to
involve social justice issues.”
While the website’s traffic has gone down since the last major
demonstration in the beginning of September, J14 will remain the online
information center when the final tents are removed from Rotschild
Boulevard after the holidays.