Some 300 social protest activists marched Thursday night from Tel Aviv\’s Habima Square to the southern neighborhood of Shapira.
The procession, dubbed "Black Night," was held parallel to the "White Night" cultural event organized by the municipality. The organizers said they are protesting against the municipality\’s policy prohibiting them from erecting protest tents and against what they referred to as excessive police violence against protesters.
"Cultural events are important, but we can\’t have (Tel Aviv Mayor) Ron Huldai run the city just for rich people. We will not be shoved into the corner and it is our right to protest anywhere we want," said Alon Li Green, one of the organizers.
Protesters held signs reading: "Get rid of Huldai," and "We don\’t want a bully municipality."
Stav Shaffir, one of the leaders of last year\’s social protest, said the demonstrators are protesting "against Huldai as a symbol of any mayor that represents the authorities and tried to prevent the continuation of the protest."
Yehuda Alush, a social activist from Beersheba, said he came to Tel Aviv in order to show his solidarity. "We want to highlight the black culture, the music and the atmosphere in these neighborhoods, which also deserve to be celebrated.
"The municipality despises this culture and we are standing near the stage – which is the symbol of alienation. Millions have been invested in it, and there are no black people on it," said Alush.
"This night was meant to give us alternatives," said Carmel Almakias. "Simply because all the events are held north of Rothschild Avenue and never come to south Tel Aviv."
Meanwhile, all events scheduled to take place in the Shapira neighborhood as part of the "Black Night" events were postponed. Instead, the activists decided to hold a communal picnic without a sound system.
"We decided to give the municipality a second chance. We are postponing the event by two weeks and expect the municipality to give us all the required permits and prove that south Tel Aviv is also allowed to celebrate," said the activists.