Estimated 60,000 attend social justice rallies in periphery

Protests move from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to smaller cities across Israel; Some 30,000 protest in Haifa; Beersheba protest which organizers expected to draw 40,000 attended by fewer than 10,000 people.

Beersheba Protest 311 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Beersheba Protest 311
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Tens of thousands of demonstrators attended social justice rallies in peripheral cities around the country on Saturday night. This was the most recent move by protest organizers to put pressure on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to make effective long reaching reforms to issues such as rising housing prices, low wages, education costs, an ever-widening socioeconomic gap between rich and poor Israelis, and prohibitively expensive costs of living.
The message, organizers said, is that the movement isn’t only in the big cities in the center of the country, and the government must see it has become a nationwide struggle.
Social justice movement plans to take to the periphery
Some 30,000 people were present at a social justice rally on Haifa's Ben Gurion Boulevard on Saturday, Channel 10 reported.
Gadi Shabtai, among the organizers of the Haifa protest, said in an interview with Channel 10 that he expected the number to rise to 40,000 or 50,000 people as more protesters were expected to arrive from the surrounding areas.
Dozens of buses filled with students left the center of the country Saturday evening headed for various locations in the periphery where mass social justice rallies were planned to take place. Cities holding major rallies included Afula, Beersheba, Beit Shean, Dimona, Eilat, Haifa, Hod Hasharon, Kiryat Shemona, Modi'in, Nahariya, Netanya, Petach Tikva, Ramat Hasharon, and Rishon Letzion.
Approximately 8,000 people participated in the rally in Beersheba despite the fact that organizers expected between 40,000 and 50,000 demonstrators.
Some 7,000 people took part in the rally in Afula, Channel 10 reported. Demonstrators congregated in the city's Independence Square, police reported.
Around 400 people took part in the protest in Eilat on Saturday.
The protesters insisted that despite Eilat's physical distance from Israel's center, the resort city's residents deserve the same services and solutions to socio-economic problems as the rest of the country.
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