Israel's social protest has mainly gained attention due to Tel Aviv's tent city situated in the Rothschild Boulevard with weekly rallies being held in the city nearly every Saturday since the movement began. However, this weekend organizers have decided to shift the focus to the periphery with demonstrations scheduled to take place in Israel's northern and southern towns.
A protest in Afula is scheduled to take place on Saturday at 8:30 pm in the city's independence square. Protestors will then march to the city's park where a rally will be held. "We haven't slept in two days, we're preparing all we can," Ran Koresh said. "Everyone we spoke to chipped in with sound systems, stages, buses. Everyone wants to help."
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Noga Lavi said: "We have a responsibility here. This surge must be taken 10,000 steps forward. The public in the periphery must be given the courage and this is why we're holding a rally here, to show that the periphery has a place too."
In Haifa, protesters will march from Kiryat Eliezer to the German Colony where speakers from various sectors will take to the stage, including author Sami Michel. Organizers stressed the Jewish-Arab nature of the protest and handed out fliers in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and Amhari. Thousands are slated to take part in the rally.
Welcoming the Sabbath in Afula (Photo: Hagai Aharon)
Tens of thousands are also expected to attend the Beersheba demonstration which will take place in the southern city's main square. Ben-Gurion University Student Union Chairman Uri Keidar said: "We expect this event to be one of the biggest the Negev has seen in years, if not the biggest. Finally we have a chance to present the solutions the Negev can offer."
Last week's protest in Ashkelon (Photo: Tzafrir Abayov)
In Ashkelon, organizers have decided to hold a local protest rally after many deliberations.
Saturday's protest is dubbed the "march of the living," where protesters will march covered with shrouds. The procession will be led by a vehicle carrying "the dead" and participants will call on the government "not to bury them alive."
Meanwhile, the organizers of the Tel Aviv protest are excited about Saturday's events in the periphery. "We are marking one month in the tent city," Stav Shaffir said.
"We're all looking forward to the very special rally to be held in Beersheba and in other locations across Israel. I can't remember a time where Israel saw so many rallies in the periphery which finally place it in the center."
Also on Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and instructed him to make sure no eviction warrants for protest tents are issued by the police.
The prime minister also asked the internal security minister to instruct the police to grant all requests to hold protests – as long as they have been filed with the proper license, as stipulated by law.
Shmulik Hadad, Ilana Curiel and Boaz Fyler contributed to this report
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