With all the fun Tel Aviv has to offer – parties, cafes, the beach, and more – I never really felt like I was living in one of the world’s real big cities. But this summer, there’s something new in town, something that we’ve never had before that has completely changed the Tel Aviv summer scene – a huge, sweeping social protest.
What started as a bunch of tents on one street became a protest of every deprived group in the country, and the mass protests this Saturday night were an amazing and crazy powerful expression of the overall sentiment of the public. I know that this is taking place throughout the country and not only in Tel Aviv – but to feel is here in my home city feels great and makes me really happy. I live here, this is my protest, and it’s my right to feel that beyond the great importance of this protest – it’s also quite enjoyable.
A few streets away from the gathering area by HaBima Square (The Orchestra Plaza), hordes of people joined me as we marched in the direction of the start of the protest. When I arrived, I literally felt like I was swimming in a sea of people. My friends and I were lucky to realize that the cellular networks wouldn’t be able to handle the overload of people and we had set a meeting place in advance. It was still extremely difficult not to get lost among the massive hordes of people.
The noise made by the crowd, the chants shouted out, and the songs heard from a distance, raised the energy of the crowd, which was really felt by all. Strangers smiled to one another, made noise, and flooded the streets as they all marched towards the main stage by the Kirya (the government compound). Everyone shared good vibes, and everyone was happy and excited. There I was, out on a hot night in August, sweating, screaming, trying to hear the speeches, and enjoying some free concerts from the artists who had volunteered to come. It was such an amazing feeling to be part of something so powerful that is so in touch with my personal life in the city and country I choose to live in.
It’s a shame that the organizers thought of everything except water canons to shoot water on the boiling-hot crowd. I would have totally thanked anyone who would have just thrown some sort of cold drink to me. Towards the end, when the over-crowdedness was too much to handle, we moved to the edge to get some air. Afterwards, we sat on the curb to drink a little and talk about the protest itself, and about the fact that this was one of the best outings of the summer – certainly the most just.
Since it doesn’t look like the government is going to be talking this protest very seriously, and since the tent-dwellers on Rothschild Boulevard said they would stay for as many months as necessary, it seems that in the coming months we’re all going to have another chance to see this amazing aspect of Tel Aviv in action. See you next weekend!
To understand more about the reasons of this protests visit here >>