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'Social protests' continue across Israel

Several thousand resurrect social protest movement demanding a reversal of the privatisation process

AFP, Sunday 1 Jul 2012
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Thousands of Israelis demonstrated across the country on Saturday, continuing their resurrection of the social protest movement that rocked the country last summer.

Protesters in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the northern city of Haifa chanted slogans including "The only solution to privatisation is revolution" and "Power from money is the underworld".

According to public radio, police were told to be on their guard following accusations of excessive force at similar protests in Tel Aviv last weekend. Eighty-five people were arrested overnight on 23 June following the detention of Dafni Leef, one of the leaders of the 2011 movement.

Protestors want the costs of food, housing and education to come down.

One of the leaders of Saturday's protest, Uri Metouki, said that demonstrators wanted "an economy that serves the people, not just a minority".

The Israeli social movement erupted after youths angry at the cost of housing in Tel Aviv pitched tents in the middle of Rothschild Boulevard to express their frustration.

The tent protest quickly mushroomed, with dozens of similar encampments sprouting in towns and cities across the country.

It won widespread support, sparking weekly demonstrations that eventually attracted hundreds of thousands, breaking records in Israel and drawing extensive media coverage.

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