Haifa protest - Hagai Fried - July 26, 2011
Thousands of housing protesters march in Haifa, July 26, 2011 Photo by Hagai Fried
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Ilan Assayag
Israel's housing protests continue in Be'er Sheva, August 10, 2011. Photo by Ilan Assayag

For the first time since the beginning of the social protests that have swept Israel over the past month, protesters will not be gathering for a march in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, and instead protests will take place in at least 11 other cities across the country.

The main events will take place in Be’er Sheva and Afula. Activists are also preparing for marches in Eilat, Dimona, Modi’in, Petah Tikva, Ramat Hasharon, Hod Hasharon, Netanya, Haifa and Beit Sha’an.

Speakers have still not been confirmed for the mass rallies on Saturday, but a list of musicians have volunteered to perform before the crowds. In Be’er Sheva, Hadag Nachash will be playing, along with Achinoam Nini, Yeremy Kaplan and Kobi Oz.

“The idea is a general expression of solidarity with the different tent city protest sites in the country,” said Yonatan Levi, one of the protest leaders. “It is important to us to gather support for the tent cities, some of which have received less attention. It is also important to gather attention to the tent protest sites in the periphery, where the sites that the tent cities have sprung up in are dealing with serious problems and years of neglect,” he added.

On Thursday, hundreds of parents marched with their children across the country, in a call for free education, longer periods of maternity leave and an easing of the tax burden on families with children. The protests took place in Eilat, Holon, Bat Yam, Qiryat Moozkin, Rehovot, Hadera and Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, dozens of people protested opposite the home of Nochi Dankner in Herzliya. Protesters carried signs saying things such as “monopoly = illegal corruption.” Dankner is the Chairman of the boards of directors of IDB Group, a major conglomerate in Israel that includes a major Israeli supermarket chain. Protesters called on Dankner to “reduce prices.”