‘TA won’t tolerate violence from protesters, police’ (JERUSALEM POST) By BEN HARTMAN 06/26/12)
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Mayor Huldai: City will allow peaceful social justice demonstrations
as long as they are approved, nonviolent.
The city of Tel Aviv will continue to allow peaceful social justice
demonstrations as long as they are approved and nonviolent, Mayor Ron
Huldai said Monday, in his first statement since the violent protest
Saturday night in which police arrested 89 demonstrators and vandals
shattered the windows of three banks.
“The city of Tel Aviv will continue to support all protests that are
held in accordance with the law. We will not however allow violence
and vandalism,” Huldai said, in a video he released Monday.
Huldai said he is against violence “both from police against
handcuffed protesters and also by protesters who break windows.
Violence is unacceptable and therefore we [the city of Tel Aviv] will
continue to be democratic, and part of the protest.”
The mayor called Tel Aviv under his stewardship “the city of protests
and democracy,” adding “a tent city protest was held in the city last
year after we gave our approval for it to be held on Rothschild
He also said the city had approved and provided equipment for a
number of rallies recently, and that he sees Tel Aviv as a city
where “all of the big protests are held, both on the Left and the
Huldai continued that as mayor he must also think of the rest of the
city and its residents, and not just the demonstrators.
“What did I ask? That there wouldn’t be tents on Rothschild
Boulevard,” he said, adding that the city offered an alternate site
at Wolowelsky Park near the Arlosoroff Train Station.
Huldai’s video was released just a few hours before a stormy session
of the city council was adjourned after attendees continuously
disrupted the mayor and other speakers. A few hundred social justice
protesters came to the meeting, where the City for All faction of the
council was supposed to issue a no-confidence vote against Huldai.
Protesters voiced their anger at the fact that several dozen people
were barred from entering, even though there were many open seats
within the council hall.
After the meeting was adjourned, protesters made their way to the
plaza outside to hold an impromptu rally. As Deputy Mayor Meital
Lahavi (Meretz) made her way out of the hall, the crowd gathered
around her shouting and demanding that she leave the coalition with
Huldai’s One Tel Aviv faction. The crowd continued to hound Lahavi,
shouting “Bibi’s collaborator!” as she made her way down the
escalator, with at least one protester throwing water at her. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/26/12)
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