For a second consecutive week, hundreds of workers in the tech sector hold a brief strike, marching at 16 locations including in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya and Haifa, as they protest the government’s contentious plans to overhaul the judicial system.
Protesters gather at various locations — the Sarona complex in Tel Aviv, a tech complex in Herzliya, the Airport City business park, and University of Haifa — many of them carrying Israeli flags.
In addition to last week’s signs in Hebrew, which read “Without democracy, there is no high tech,” and “No freedom, no high tech,” demonstrators this week also hold large signs in English that read: “Save our startup nation” and: “No balances – no checks.”
During the strike, demonstrators at Tel Aviv’s Sarona complex go onto busy Kaplan Street, where they briefly try to block some traffic and clash with the police.
The planned overhaul has drawn intense criticism, even from longtime proponents of judicial reform, and has sparked weekly mass protests and public petitions by various officials, professionals, private companies and other bodies.
Israeli companies, moneymakers, and business organizations have been stepping up efforts to voice concern over the judicial overhaul plan, which they say threatens democracy and will harm the thriving local tech industry. Many fear that a weakening of the judiciary system will create uncertainty and reduce the likelihood that foreign investors will inject funds into companies in the country. This in turn could force local and international businesses to leave and set up shop elsewhere.