Sunday, July 15, 2012

Demonstrations tonight protesting in solidarity with Moshe Siman, who set himself on fire last night

Demonstrations were held tonight all over Israel in solidarity with Moshe Siman, who set himself on fire at the social justice rally last night in Tel Aviv. These are the reports from all the newspapers. I went to the Jerusalem rally, which was held in front of the Prime Minister's house. This is a photo of one of the Jerusalem protestors:

'Despair burns. Who's next?' Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
   © All Rights Reserved

From the Jerusalem Post:
Thousands of protesters were blocking Yitzhak Sadeh Street in central Tel Aviv on Sunday in a show of solidarity with demonstrator Moshe Siman, who set himself on fire in the name of social justice a day before.

Earlier, protesters held a moment of silence when rumors circulated that Siman had died of wounds he suffered from the immolation.

Protesters began banging on an ATM machine but border policemen gathered around it and protected it from further damage.

"It's going to be a rage demonstration," said Yael Ben Yefet, an organizer and director at the Democratic Mizrahi Rainbow. "I think people are on the verge of crying, me also, or want to strike someone or something." She added that if violence erupted, it would not be initiated by protesters, but would be a form of "counter-violence."

"There is violence: by the government. They are the violent ones. And maybe today something will strike back," she said. Demonstrators read aloud the suicide note left behind by Moshe Silman, who accused the government Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of being directly responsible for his financial predicament. Silman, 46 years old, had complained that he received no rent assistance despite suffering a stroke recently and no longer being able to work.....

In Jerusalem, police arrested at least three demonstrators after they tried to block roads at Paris Square. About 80 demonstrators marched from Independence Park to the prime minister's residence chanting: "We are all Moshe Silman!" The protest started peacefully but once the demonstrators attempted to block the road, clashes broke out between the demonstrators and police, though there were no injuries.
From Haaretz:
About a hundred protesters clashed with police near the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on Sunday, in a rally summoned following the self-immolation of a Haifa resident during a protest marking one year since the onset of social unrest in Israel....
On Sunday, protesters descended on Jerusalem's Gaza Street, not far from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence.

The protest, which joins similar ones in Haifa and Tel Aviv and held under the title "We're all Moshe Silman – The Blood is on The Government's Hands," started off in the capitol's Independence Park and ended near the Prime Minister's Residence.

Along the way, protesters blocked some of the nearby roads, chanting slogans against the government and for public housing, and lifting signs reading "The Poor Won't Have Anything to Eat, and They'll Eat the Rich," and "Desperation Burns – Who's Next?"
From Ynet:
Some 2,000 people demonstrated Sunday night in front of the government offices in Tel Aviv in protest of the public housing situation in Israel. The activists blocked Ayalon Highway and several other streets in Tel Aviv. Earlier, the demonstrators read aloud the letter left behind by Moshe Silman, who set himself on fire during the social justice protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday. They also yelled "Bibi and Steinitz go home."

Silman, who suffered burns on over 90% of his body, is still hospitalized in critical condition at Sheeba Medical Center. His relatives said Sunday night that he suffers from organ failure and doctors said his chances of survival are slim.

"Moshe isn't crazy, he's just like you and me," said social activist Iliya Mershek, adding that he visited Silman in the hospital but was too afraid to enter the room. "He is in critical condition. I couldn't go into the room, I admit I'm a coward. I would never be able to do what he did. His sisters say he did it for all of us. They cried while telling us why he had to be the victim of this struggle."

Protests were also held in Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheba. Five protesters were arrested in Jeruslem, while trying to block King George street.

Jerusalem resident Yael Shelem said she came to the rally "out of solidarity." People who set themselves on fire are not committing suicide, but are shouting out of despair and pain after the government has abandoned them. But even in this protest they won't give us the right to shout," she said adding that the police have been using too much force on the protesters.

"People went out on the street because they are enraged, angry and sad because of what happened yesterday. We are screaming against the government's failure, which we hold responsible to the events that led Moshe Silman to set himself on fire," said activist Michael Solsbery.

"People don’t reach this level of despair over nothing. This despair has an address and it belongs to the government, who failed to provide housing solutions and who abandons people in Silman's condition," he added.

No comments:

Post a Comment