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Echoes of the Arab Spring in Tel Aviv as anti-austerity protestors set themelves on fire
Moshe Silman, a 57 year old protester, set himself alight during an anti-cuts protest in Tel-Aviv on Saturday (14th). He saturated himself with petrol and died after recieving burns to 94% of his body. Moshe Silman had joined hundreds of other protesters in Tel-Aviv at a demonstration over the high cost of living. This is reminiscent of the spark that kicked the Arab Spring off when Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest and became a catalyst for the insurgency that followed. Two years ago Moshe Silman was forced to leave Tel-Aviv and move to the northern city of Haifa as he couldn't afford to live in the capital any more. In Haifa he became involved in social protests. The state aid he received due to medical conditions (disabilities from a stroke) didn't cover his medical bills and rent.This was what led to the desperate act of self arson. More than a thousand people showed up for vigils to Moshe Silman on Saturday(21st).
However this is not where the story ends, as Moshe Silman was laid to rest on Sunday(22nd) a disabled IDF veteran followed his example and is now in critical condition. Akiva Mafa'i, 45 years old, surrendered his body in desperation at a bus stop in Central Israel. Mafa'i was registered as partially disabled, after a car accident nine years ago whilst volunteering with the Border Police. After the injury, a stroke followed and he was told he couldn't go back to work. From then on he depended on his state aid from the Defense Ministry and the National Insurance Institute. Mafa'i had taken part in a demonstration on Saturday(21st) in front of the National Insurance office in Tel Aviv. The following day he left home at 5am, walked to the bus stop near his home, bought some petrol from a near by gas station and whilst waiting for the bus to arrive set himself aflame.
Desperate people are taking extreme measures as they are discovering that they have given their lives to the state and in their time of need the state throws them out to rot. There have been a total of five attempts to self immolate in protest this week alone. Last summer the Israeli state saw an unparalleled wave of protests over inequality, housing issues and financial woes. Self immolation seems to be the step up this summer.
Russian anti-fascist unfairly imprisoned under Putin's new house rules.
'Ground the Drones' demo to take place in Lincoln this Saturday as UK expands armed drone programme - and international resistance to the Drone Wars amps up.
Anti-cuts protesters block Lord Freud's Highgate London home and stage "evict a millionaire" demo.
If the “world leaders” heading to Enniskillen in June were hoping for an easy protest-free ride they were sadly mistaken
National Front demonstration has a poor turn out in Swansea, followed by a Blood & Honour gig in the valleys.
Protesters call for the closure of Harlan Laboratories - leading breeders of research animals - and for a government inquiry into animal testing.
UK ISM activist expecting imminent deportation after arrest by Israeli military
On International Taiji Action Day for Dolphins 2013 a demonstration was held outside the Japanese Embassy in Piccadilly, London