Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My first Israel Social Protest

Cops, crowds, cameras, a suicide trampoline! The situation seems extreme! On my walk home from doing my laundry yesterday, I unexpectedly came upon a social protest at the mall near where I live. On a closed bridge crossing over the main Dizengoff street, 8 young Israeli's had climbed outside onto the balcony and stood there holding hands in protest of...well to most people around they didn't know. They were protesting to protest, some said. They were protesting the situation in Israel. What situation in Israel? You know, the situation. Some reporters were thoroughly engrossed in the action, running in and out of the crowds, filming and narrating into their iPhones. Others seemed less impressed and slightly annoyed at the non-news that was now making news. At the moment, the protestors would stand tall above Dizengoff just as long as the crowds remained. The crowds were happy to oblige in the hopes that some action, namely a jump, would happen. It was a mediocre tense standoff.

I stood there for about an hour to try and gage what was going on. If I was in New York, I would have walked right on by. No way would I give credence to a bunch of misfits causing a traffic jam and wasting unnecessary tax dollars and services when in reality, nothing will happen. But this is Israel. This is what people are talking about. The time is now for the rhetoric to be switching from, "Which outsiders want to destroy Israel," to, "How are we destroying ourselves from the inside?" So I stayed and tried to figure out what was going on.

The 8 remain looking straight ahead, to justice? To change? To not see the drop below?

Police try to start some sort of crowd control, for the controlled crowd.

After two hours of standing not doing anything, the 8 unfurl a banner.

Tensions run high as police anticipate a jump, they try to move the crowds back, much more dramatic than it seems.

When the protesting 8 first appeared over the street, they had dropped a note to the ground which is unclear whether it was a "suicide" note, or a note condemning the "socioeconomic situation" in Israel, I wasn't there for that part. The crowds watched and chanted along. The 8 stood there stoically, eyes facing forward, stone faced. At times, some individuals looked like they were losing their nerve. A girl in pink nervously stepped forward to put her hands on the rails, a young man swayed from left to right. Vertigo? Fatigue? Drama?

In the end the group held up two signs and dropped them to the whoops and cheers of the crowd. In English the signs said "Love Revolution"with it's equal written in Hebrew. Around 8 pm the group shouted to the crowd, "Ok, we'll be good people," and walked off the bridge back into the mall where they went to accept their fate of disturbing the peace. It was over and I wanted to go to my life, namely, the gym. I tried to enter the mall, the guards had closed the doors. Thanks a lot "Love Revolution," you see what you did? Now I can't love myself and revolutionize my body. Geeze la-weeze.

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