Six thousand Israeli citizens marched through Tel Aviv yesterday to demonstrate against the high cost of living and social inequality.
Protesters marched from three working-class neighbourhoods to Rabin Square while smaller demonstrations took place in Jerusalem, Haifa, Kiryat Shmona in the north, Eilat in the south and several other cities.
Participants held up placards reading, “The people demand social justice” and “we want social justice, not charity.”
Many identified with the anarchic Indignant movement in Europe and insisted that the event was not political.
Nevertheless, around 1,000 protesters marched on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in east Jerusalem to demand his resignation in light of soaring food costs, low wages and education budget cuts, while at least nine people were arrested for blocking roads.
The turnout was much lower than last year, when hundreds of thousands marched and protest camps popped up in city centres.
The government responded to those mass demonstrations by setting up a committee tasked with providing solutions.
National Student Union chairman Itzik Shmuli said: “The cosmetic response provided by the government to the problems raised by the social protest does not satisfy us.
“We’ll renew the protest in full force should the government continue its foot-dragging.”
One participant in yesterday's rally who gave his name as Yotam said: “I was at the protests last summer and nothing changed.
“The place where change happens is in the Knesset and we aren’t represented there.
“There is power in the streets but it needs to be used.”
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