Next Steps for Israel’s Social Justice Movement
Chanting for change and social justice, protestors filled the streets of Israeli cities last summer and created a movement. Since last summer, when SHATIL employees were on the ground doing everything from distributing water bottles to helping with community organizing, until today, when SHATIL is engaged in capacity building for new protest-related organizations and helping them network with one another, SHATIL’s essential work has taken many forms. Staff members are now engaged both in assisting the activists and new groups and in helping them to pursue long-term goals. They are encouraging the activists to focus on results and not just on events, countering the accusation that the colorful protests are just “summer camp.”
On May 17th, as part of continued participation in the movement, SHATIL hosted a conference, “Movement in Motion.” Approximately 200 attendees, both individual activists and representatives of social justice organizations, created partnerships, listened to TED- talk style presentations, practiced democratic processes, and came up with innovative projects and work-plans to carry them forward.
Some of the topics to be addressed by the activists following the protests are the promotion of the social-justice agenda during the upcoming local and national elections, working for a just 2013 national budget, and creation of a shared pool of resources for the protests.
The forum campaigning around the 2013 budget is just beginning its work, as the Knesset began budget talks for the upcoming year this week. Eran Klein, SHATIL National Budget Project Coordinator, hopes that, through this forum, SHATIL will be able to expand beyond the NIF-SHATIL family and also partner with additional influential organizations, such as the Histadrut. This is one of many ideas that are beginning to take off this summer, and SHATIL is excited to continue playing a leading role as the movement grows and inspires.
“The movement is a real chance for change,” said Avi Dabush, SHATIL Program Director. “With the protests has come a new energy, a new opportunity to create change and help fulfill SHATIL’s vision of a socially just society.”
July 3, 2012