Protest leader Shikma Bressler arrested, later released; ex-PM Barak: ‘Dictatorship in action’

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Physicist Dr. Shikma Bressler, co-founder of the Black Flag protest movement is detained, March 23, 2023 (Screen grab)
Physicist Dr. Shikma Bressler, co-founder of the Black Flag protest movement is detained, March 23, 2023 (Screen grab)

Shikma Bressler, one of the leaders of the protest movement against the government’s judicial overhaul legislation, is arrested and later released by the police at a demonstration at Binyamina Junction leading to accusations by opposition leaders of “political arrests.”

Video footage of Bressler’s arrest shows her being led away by police to a police patrol vehicle amid shouts of “Shame” by protesters.

Bressler and others, including workers from the Rafael defense technology company, were protesting at the junction and blocked it for almost an hour.

She was released a short while after being detained, and tells a crowd of supporters outside the Zevulun Police Station in Haifa that “our task is to ensure that Israel remains a democracy.”

Bressler,a physicist and researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science, has been a prominent voice in the anti-government protests.

Former prime minister Ehud Barak tweets that her arrest was an example of “dictatorship in action.”

And Labor leader MK Merav Michaeli tweets, “In a normal country Shikma Bressler would be given the Israel Prize. In the state of Netanyahu and Ben Gvir she is arrested as a common criminal. [This is] Hungary and Poland on steroids. A government of disgrace, democracy will prevail over you.”

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