Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jerusalem Demands Social Justice

Over the past few days, The Camel's Nose (TCN) visited three protest sites in Jerusalem. Many of the major cities in Israel have a central camp, and smaller satellite camps throughout the city. In Jerusalem, the headquarters of the movement is in Park HaSoosim.

Unlike many of the other protest sites, the protest in Park HaSoosim has glossy posters and flyers. In the center of the camp, an activist sits behind a table with papers and flyers on it, ready to answer questions and hand out material.

Down the street, there is a smaller protest camp.

This morning a number of protesters had gathered to hold a meeting. Unlike the protest camps in Beer Sheva and Haifa, this camp (as well as the one in Park HaSoosim) is inhabited by many youth. At least half of the activists were women, and there was one woman at the latter camp with two children.

Down the street, there is a camp in Gan Ha'Atzmaut, directly across the street from the American Consulate in Jerusalem.

The camp has a small kitchen and there were about 8 people there just before Shabbat began Friday afternoon. A head activist at the camp said that the camp had been cleared because of illicit behavior in the past few weeks. In response, he drafted a list of rules, which include no drugs, alcohol, or violence. The camp also has a daily schedule, hour by hour. Finally, it has a roster of slightly less than 20 people who live there 24/7.

The inhabitants of the camp at Gan HaAtzmaut and many other sites were slightly older than those at the other two sites. This reality differs, however, from some Beltway perceptions that this is a youth protest. While the youth have a strong voice in the protest and are vulnerable in the Israeli economy, they are not the only participants in the protests.

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