Protest organizers at press conference
Photo: Yaron Brener
Initiator Daphni Leef
Photo: Yaron Brener

Tent protest organizers announce mass rally in Tel Aviv

Protesters nationwide invited to join Tel Aviv demonstration; tent camps pop up in several cities

A mass rally against escalating housing prices is set to take place on Saturday night at Tel Aviv's Habima Square, the organizers of the quickly growing tent protest announced in a press conference Wednesday.


"Israel's government continues to disappoint us, and we feel betrayed," said Daphni Leef, the initiator of the protest movement. "The struggle is moving on to the next level. We call on all the tent cities to arrive at Habima Square for a rally that will make the upper echelon shake.



"It's our nation, and it's time to give it back to the people," she said.


The organizers explained earlier that the press conference comes in response "to the prime minister, finance minister and housing minister's disregard for our plight for affordable housing."


Meanwhile, dozens of activists pitched their own tents on the streets of Beersheba. Labor Party leadership candidate Amaram Mitzna, who visited the camp, said that the government is evading its duties.


"When the government is urging the protesters on Rothschild Boulevard to leave Tel Aviv, I have news for them: The housing problem is not limited to Tel Aviv, but exists across the country. Israel's government doesn’t understand what its real responsibilities are.


"What is the Knesset dealing with? A committee to investigate leftists. This is its priority, instead of dealing with real responsibilities," he said. "The right-wing government's priorities are warped."


'Politicians go home'

Despite the supportive words, Mitzna was attacked by some activists who yelled at him to leave. "Politicians go home," they said. Border Guards who were securing the scene had to subdue the riot. Ben Gurion University's student union, which organized the protest, insisted that the isolated incident went out of control.


As part of the tent protest in the capital, some 40 activists barricaded themselves inside a yard of a home at the affluent central Jerusalem neighborhood of Kfar David. Their protest focused not only on high real estate prices, but also on the fact that foreign tourists buy homes in the capital, but don't reside in them.


Dozens of students and residents in Haifa pitched tents as well at the neighborhood Carmel.


"The bird has a nest, the dog has a kennel, the pig has a sty – only the student doesn't have a home," one of the signs read. Mayor Yona Yahav visited the camp in solidarity.


Earlier Wednesday, students blocked roads in Kiryat Shmona as part of the protest. A tent camp was pitched in town as well.



פרסום ראשון: 07.20.11, 23:09
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