Being silenced?
Photo: Gil Yohanan

J'lem protestors: We are being silenced

Detention of three leaders of Jerusalem housing protests prompts demonstrators to claim arrests are no coincidence

In the last few days police arrested three of the Jerusalem 'tent city' protest leaders and demonstrators in the capital believe the decision to arrest those specific protestors was not coincidental. On Thursday they claimed it was part of an attempt to silence them.


Daniel Plunker was arrested during clashes at the Knesset earlier in the week and remanded for five days. On Wednesday, police arrested Barak Segal who acts as the national protest encampment coordinator. His remand hearing is being held on Thursday. He is suspected of burning tires and attempting to block Route 1. Yotam Kelner who established the first Jerusalem protest encampment was also arrested in the past few days.



The activists are claiming that the incident during which Plunker was arrested involved violence - but it came from the Knesset Guard. They added that Plunker was arrested half an hour after activists tried to break into the Knesset compound when the demonstration had already clamed down.


"The feeling we have is that there is an attempt to silence us," said Giora Yisrael, a friend of Plunker's. "These arrests are political," added Segal himself before he reported for interrogation.


"They are trying to silence anyone who is identified with the social struggle. We are just normative young people who were being pushed into a corner. All we want is for someone to listen to us."


Rona Urbino, one of the leaders of the social protests expressed concern over the possibility that this was the beginning of a course set to hurt the democratic protests. "We see the fact that those arrested among hundreds of people who took part in the demonstrations are all leaders of the struggle as a serious matter," she stressed.


The Jerusalem police stated in response that Plunker and Segal are suspected of rioting. Referring to the events at the Knesset, police said that "the protestors took advantage of the freedom of speech and the freedom to protest that the police allows at these demonstrations. They tried to break into the Knesset compound through the back gate and were restrained by Knesset Guard members."


The Jerusalem protest leader were set to take part in the planned mass protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday night but have now changed their plans and will be busy organizing a local protest in Jerusalem.


Boaz Fyler contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 08.18.11, 12:11
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