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Rival Rallies Planned on Protest Anniversary

Israeli organizers expect tens of thousands to take part in nationwide demonstrations on Saturday night to mark the first anniversary of last summer’s social justice protests. But despite efforts to project a unified front, organizers have failed to find a way to prevent two protest marches from taking place simultaneously in Tel Aviv.

One, organized by several leading activists in last summer’s protest, will begin at 8 P.M. at Gordon Beach and culminate an hour later in a rally in Charles Clore Park. The other, organized by Daphni Leef, the woman who launched the social protest, will also begin at 8 P.M. at Habima Square and culminate an hour later in a rally at the government complex on Kaplan Street.

Marches will also take place in Jerusalem (9 P.M. at Gan Hasus, ending up at the Knesset), Haifa (7:30 P.M. near the Bahai Gardens on Ben-Gurion Boulevard, ending at Meyerhoff Square) and Be’er Sheva (9 P.M. at the teacher’s center on Rager Street, ending at the Victory Garden). Thousands of people have confirmed plans to attend the various events via Facebook.

“The country has been burning for a year, but the government is ignoring us and sneering at us,” organizers of the Gordon Beach march wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “The people are angry and collapsing under the burden, but the government and the tycoons are doing business as usual. We, the people of Israel, will not wait much longer.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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