Tel Aviv permits protesters to pitch new tent city

Tel Aviv permits protesters to pitch new tent city

20 tents go up in park next to central train station as ‘suckers’ join social justice activists

Activists of the 'suckers' movement pitch a tent in a Tel Aviv park on June 26, 2012 (photo credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90)
Activists of the 'suckers' movement pitch a tent in a Tel Aviv park on June 26, 2012 (photo credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90)

After Tel Aviv’s refusal to let social justice activists pitch tents on Rothschild Boulevard last week triggered widespread protests, the city decided on Tuesday to allow activists to pitch tents in a park near the central train station.

By Tuesday evening more than 20 tents had been pitched in the park as activists of the “suckers” movement, who protest non-enlistment of ultra-Orthodox men to the military, joined the social justice activists.

The city had refused to allow the protesters to pitch tents on one of the city’s main avenues, as they did last year, citing concern for public welfare. Now city hall has agreed to help the activists settle into the new location at the park, and even provided them with chemical lavatories and cleaning services.

Additional protest tent-cities are expected to go up in Haifa and Ashdod over the weekend.

Left-wing political party Meretz announced on Tuesday that it was leaving the ruling coalition of the Tel Aviv City Council after police arrested more than 80 people during violent social protests on Saturday night.

Deputy Mayor Meital Lahavi (Meretz) turned in her resignation to Mayor Ron Huldai on Tuesday, writing that Huldai had promoted oppressive policies and torpedoed the social protest movement by mobilizing the police for political reasons.

Daphni Leef, one of the leaders of the social protest movement, was arrested, along with 11 other activists, on Friday, after attempting to pitch tents on Rothschild Boulevard.


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