Protest leaders prepare for demonstrations next Saturday, October 29, across Israel, turning up the heat following the government announcement of an electricity price hike.
After being put on the back burner for the past few weeks, the social protest is slowly turning up the heat following the recent electricity price hike announced by Israel’s neo-liberal government.
Social activists have already begun planning mass demonstrations set to take place this Saturday. In a press conference on Tuesday they slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding to know “how can he sleep at night and wake up smiling?”
“I feel like people are trying to sideline this protest and I don’t understand why I’m in the middle of a war of survival against elected representatives,” remarked tent protest leader Daphni Leef. “We’re in the midst of a war of attrition, Bibi. You’re looking at a tired and infuriated woman. You’re living at my expense and using me and my people as a diving board.”
Leef also addressed the global social protests against capitalism, calling on Netanyahu to examine the events taking place in the United States. “It’s where your beloved system is centered, this dysfunctional system. It’s time you admit your mistakes and understand that your time is running out.”
“During the summer they did us a favor and instead of a 20% price hike the government only increased prices by 10%,” said Regev Contes, one of the protest leaders. “We were good kids — and here’s our reward: another price hike. It’s absurd. The government is laughing at us.”
Another protest leader, Stav Shaffir, added: “The electricity is only part of the wider phenomenon of rising prices.” She hopes that “Israeli citizens turn off their electricity this Saturday and come out to protest.”
Saturday’s protests will be held in cities across the country, and the central march will set out from Rothschild Boulevard and make its way to Rabin Square at 9 p.m. Saturday’s protests will be the first major demonstration held by the movement since the “March of the Million” on September 3, which saw an estimated 500,000 people take to the streets in protests across Israel.
The subsequent release of the findings of the Trajtenberg Committee on Socioeconomic Issues was met with disapproval by the social justice movement, who said it did not go far enough in effecting change. According to Leef, since the protests hit their peak on September 3, the movement has received little if any response from the government.
For more information, visit <maki.org.il>.