Social Protests: It’s Time to Go Left.

At the protest tonight, the first revival of last year’s “Social Protests,” some chanted:

כל העם אופזיציה

(All the Nation is Opposition)

In reference to the recent creation of a new, controversial government coalition               (& to the government writ large)

Cute slogan. Let’s talk numbers here, for a sec, though:

The new mega-coalition is currently surging in the low 90s in terms of Members of Knesset. There are 120 MKs. They were democratically elected (at least by those who get to take part in democracy here). There were about 2,000 people at the demonstration tonight in Jerusalem, and probably another 15,000 or so spread out around Israel. There are about 8 million citizens of Israel (again: these protests have yet to take a stance about those other few million non-citizens. You know, the Pale…whatevers)

It was neat last summer to talk about “the Nation demanding Social Justice” et cetera, et cetera, but it’s time to get real: All the Nation is not Opposition. It’s time for the chants, and with them the types of protests, to focus a bit. Here’s my suggestion:

רוב השמאל אופוזיציה

(Most of the Left is Opposition)

I don’t mean left in the strictly Palestine-sense, although that needs to be discussed, too. I mean Left as in: anti-racist, pro-public services, anti-unbridled capitalism, pro-equality, anti-militaristic, pro-feminist. And anti-government. .

For these protests to go anywhere, they need to find a direction, and quickly. How about:

Left.

Better than the silly slogan I suggested, or any silly slogan, I think (and I know a lot of others think the same) it’s time for things to move to the next level of Left-wing protests:

Non-violent civil disobedience.

No to “asking the police for permits”

Yes to disobeying unjust laws

No to trying to be “all-inclusive”

Yes to living out our values with the knowledge that people will join us

We don’t need 400,000 to take to the streets again this summer

We need 4,000 to take over the streets.

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