Anti-overhaul activists glue themselves to floor at government offices in Tel Aviv

Protesters say planned neutering of legal system threatens rights of women, members of the LGBTQ community, secular Israelis and Palestinians

Activists glue themselves to the entrance of a building housing government offices in Tel Aviv, Marc 8, 2023. (Screen grab; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Activists glue themselves to the entrance of a building housing government offices in Tel Aviv, Marc 8, 2023. (Screen grab; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Around twenty protesters glued themselves to the floor at the entrance to a Tel Aviv building housing a number of government offices on Wednesday to protest the government’s controversial overhaul of the judicial system.

In a statement, the group said they were taking action as the country was “galloping toward a religious dictatorship.”

“The truth is that the current government is the most racist, chauvinistic and homophobic in Israel’s history,” the activists said.

“The government’s attempt to neuter the independence of the legal system is intended to enable the systematic crushing of the human and civil rights of all communities that are not represented by it, including women, for members of the LGBTQ community, the secular, and Palestinians,” they said, according to the Ynet news site.

The activists also appealed to members of the coalition to speak out and stop the legislative blitz.

“Every day that you continue to serve this government threatens us all personally. We urge you to wake up and stop the legislation immediately,” the activists said in a statement, adding that they will continue to carry out non-violent action.

The tactic of using glue as a means of protest has previously been deployed by anti-overhaul protesters attempting to blockade government lawmakers in their homes. It is also a key methodology of climate change activists around the world.

The action came as protesters were gearing up for another major campaign to disrupt daily life on Thursday, including blocking roads around Ben Gurion Airport in an attempt to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from catching his flight for an official visit to Italy. The trip already faced setbacks when pilots for national carrier El Al initially declined to fly the prime minister in apparent protest of the judicial legislation.

They dubbed the protest as “a day of resistance to the dictatorship, during which traffic in Israel will be disrupted: in the air, at sea, and on land.”

In a statement, they said that protest convoys, including some agricultural vehicles and equipment, will set off around the country throughout the day, along with rallies at different locations, an evening protest outside the home of Justice Minister Yariv Levin, and other actions against coalition lawmakers and ministers.

A major rally in Tel Aviv will set off from the city’s Habima Square and there will be protests by workers from the tech sector at 15 locations around the country.

Organizers said the actions were only “initial events that can be revealed to media at the moment” and promised “many surprises.”

Demonstrators block a road and clash with police as they protest against the government’s planned judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, March 1, 2023. (Erik Marmor/Flash90)

Critics say the proposed overhaul will weaken Israel’s democratic character, remove a key element of its checks and balances, and leave minorities unprotected. Supporters say it is a much-needed reform to rein in an activist court.

Last week, protesters held a “day of disruption” around the country with a flagship rally in Tel Aviv that blocked a key junction in the city. Police used horse-mounted cops, water cannons, and stun grenades to disperse them. The force came under criticism for the rough treatment of the protesters, including an officer who hurled a stun grenade into a crowd of people. An investigation has been opened into the officer’s actions.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has instructed police to use a heavy hand against anti-judicial overhaul protesters who block roads, and who have been painted by himself and several members of the government and their allies as “terrorists” and “anarchists.”

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