activists are marking one year since the first tent was erected in Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard. Some 10,000 protesters marched from Habima Square towards the government compound on Kaplan street.
"Today we are marking a one year anniversary to the civil awakening, to our taking of the streets and the profound understanding that we have stood by too long while our future was being sold away," protest leader Daphni Leef
Protesters march in Tel Aviv (Photo: Moti Kimhi)
"One year has passed and today we insist that our public servants care for the general good and act unwaveringly to maintain a healthy society offering equal opportunity and life with dignity. Each class, sector and group has different needs which are no less important than those of other citizens."
Leef in Tel Aviv (Photo: Moti Kimhi)
Oren Pasternak said, "We have come here to say that the struggle for the state's future must continue, something the current government has failed to understand. One year ago, a new class emerged in Israel, the tent class which has given hope to the Israeli society. The new discourse created here cannot be stopped. The struggle for a sane and egalitarian society continues at full force."
One year anniversary (Photo: Moti Kimhi)
Meanwhile, dozens are marching along Tel Aviv's promenade as part of a separate protest. The demonstrators are carrying signs which read "The answer for rent – revolution" and chanting "The people demand social justice."
Yair Olmert, one of the protest's organizers, explained the decision not to align with Leef'. "We want to put values and targets at the center of the protest, not figures, goals or stages. We believe in the establishment of a social party that does not depend on or is affiliated with the glitterati or the wealthy and that can appeal to the silent majority."
Protesters at Tel Aviv promenade (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Another protester, Amir Nissan, described the rally as "a popular march, because we have no leaders."
"We are the mouthpiece of all those who lost faith in this protest," another protester said. "We don't want to see artists entertain us during the rally, and that is one of the reasons for the division. I am raising five soldiers. We're a nation of slaves."
'We're a nation of slaves' (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Demonstrations are also taking place in Haifa and Jerusalem. Hundreds of members of the Dror Israel Movement and the Forum for Social Justice are marching in demand of greater investment in social services such as health, education, housing and welfare and against the huge gaps in the Israeli society.
"One year into the largest protest Israeli society has ever seen, the protest is being reinforced by the joining of various organizations and bodies," said Pesach Housfater. "There is a new normative basis and an agreed upon paper of demands in the form of the social treaty – we are clearer and more determined than ever."
Shahar Chai contributed to this report