Monday, August 22, 2011

Protests In Israel

Dozens of activists occupy a four-story building abandoned since 1999, and call on the Tel Aviv municipality to make use of empty buildings in the city.

By Ilan Lior Tags: Israel protest Israel housing protest Tel Aviv Israel real estate
Dozens of housing protesters squatted an abandoned four-story building in Tel Aviv Monday. The building, on Dov Hoz street in central Tel Aviv, is owned by the municipality and hasn't been populated in 12 years.
In the past few weeks activists have been cleaning the building, which used to be a school and a dormitory, and hung banners saying "The People's House – housing, community, culture," "A liberated building" and "The city closed, the residents open."
Squatters - Daniel Bar-On - August 22, 2011The building in central Tel Aviv, August 22, 2011
Photo by: Daniel Bar-On
A message that was posted on the building's wall read: "We, a group of young people in our thirties, who work, study and live in Tel Aviv, have decided to take it upon ourselves to return the building to its original purpose: a space for social and community activities and housing… We are not trying to take over the building for personal reason and we are not claiming any ownership over it."
The activists claim that the municipality is "waiting for the building to crumble so it can demolish it and build more buildings for the rich only. We will not let that happen."
Hadash MK Dov Khenin joined the protestors, and called on the municipality to make use of the hundreds of buildings standing vacant around the city. "It is outrageous that there is such a housing shortage in this city," he said. MK Nitzan Horowitz (New Movement-Meretz) also joined the sqautters and showed his support.
Tel Aviv municipality responded by saying that the act is illegal and constitutes a criminal offense, and that the squatters are risking their lives as the building is dangerous.

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