‘This summer’s protest will be the real thing,’ says one protester, as thousands in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem resume social protest
Thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and other cities across Israel to reignite the social protest on Saturday. Four thousand people marched on Tel Aviv’s Eben Gvirol street banging on pots and pans and reiterating last summer’s slogans.
“There’s a feeling that what happened last summer is just the first wave,” said one of the protesters, Raz Levin. “This summer will see the real thing. We’ve grown up and won’t let those in power get away with it this time.
“They have changed nothing for the people in the past year, despite the fact that more than half a million people took to the streets. I believe that this year will see even more.”
Stav Shafir, one of the social protest’s leaders, slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Tel Aviv rally. “If you only hurt us, use us, and manipulate us – what do we need you for,” she said.
“After a year’s struggle, there is one thing we know for sure: Your disconnected, swinish leadership must be replaced. We deserve leaders who work fir us,” she added.
In Haifa, some 700 people marched from Kiryat Eliezer to the German Colony. “We don’t want a government of cutbacks” “We don’t want a government of privatization” “We don’t want a government of racists,” they chanted.
“The main goal is to make the 2013 budget more social,” said Ofer Kimhi. “The government continues to impose taxes and limitations regardless of the fact that they are not necessary.”
Haifa resident Eyal Argaman said that there has been a change for the worse since last year’s summer protest. “The government is becoming ever more impervious. Privatization continues, the cost of living is still high and there is no solution in sight,” he said.
Several hundreds also marched in Jerusalem and held a protest in the capital’s Paris Square, near the prime minister’s residence. Like the protesters in Haifa, they too demanded that more funds be allocated to social issues.
By Ynet reporters
Ahiya Raved, Boaz Fyler and Omri Efraim contributed to this report