Mass Civil Disobedience To Coincide With Gaza March

The Bayit Leumi (“National Home”) civil disobedience movement has renewed its call for mass civil disobedience, offering several suggestions focusing on occupying the security services.

Ezra HaLevi , | updated: 16:06

The group, which brought the country to a halt on May 17th in a show of strength it termed a “dry-run,” is now calling for a series of creative acts of civil disobedience coinciding with Tuesday’s rally in Sderot and the marches that are scheduled to follow, multiplying the effect it will have in overwhelming security forces.

“In response to the blocking of buses and private vehicles from reaching the rally, we call upon whoever is stopped to ignore police orders to pull over to the side of the road, but rather to stand, with his vehicle (or if one is without vehicle to simply stand) opposite the police officer until they explain why they are fulfilling the completely illegal order to prevent freedom of protest and freedom of movement.”

The movement advises drivers not to tell the police the purpose of their trip, but to merely say that they, “wish to see the city of Sderot,” for example. This makes them unable to claim that one is, “on their way to an illegal demonstration.”

Protesters are also advised to request the name and ID number of police who will not allow them to pass, informing them clearly that they intend to file a complaint that on the basis of their profile, their freedom of movement was revoked.

In the event that buses are stopped, people who are able are called upon to head south in groups, walking in the middle of the roads, or at least in the right lane, “until the police understand that this is an illegal order and allow the tens of thousands to arrive at Sderot, and from there to Kisufim and then Gush Katif.”

Bayit Leumi says that the fact that police from all over the country were brought to Kfar Maimon two weeks ago dictates that the time has come to renew mass roadblockings throughout the country. “The state of Tel Aviv is like that of Netzarim,” the movement's web site declares. “We are calling upon the public which is not going south with the Yesha Council to take to the streets Wednesday at 5 PM for one hour, and afterwards to join their brothers in the south in entering Gush Katif. Since all the police will be in the south, there will not be officers to arrest the roadblockers,” the group claimed.

Another suggested action is called “Adopt-A-Checkpoint.” Groups of friends are encouraged to choose one of the many roadblocks that have been erected on the roads leading toward Gush Katif and simply camp out there for many days. The aim of the move is to convince soldiers to refuse orders. Another goal, the group said, “is to keep the commanders and soldiers busy 24 hours a day, ensuring that they are dealing with us at the checkpoint instead of blocking those who want to get to Gush Katif or even getting ready for the expulsion.”

Activists at checkpoints will also be on hand to advise those who arrive there of alternate routes into Gush Katif, including via hiking trails and dirt roads bypassing the checkpoints. The Bayit Leumi web site even includes satellite photos of the region, “for advanced navigators.”

Additionally, the organization is going public with some of the methods that have enabled activists to continue to trickle into Gush Katif even following an IDF crackdown of visitors. Recomendations include taking advantage of the fact that there is no picture on the special “resident’s card” each resident of Gush Katif has received, enabling them to be shared quite easily. The group advises activists to leave their IDs at home and know the ID number, names and ages of siblings, and birth dates and names of parents of a Gush Katif resident they are impersonating.

The group is also reiterating its call for protesters to dismantle an IDF tent city erected to house those taking part in the expulsion.

Meanwhile, Tel Aviv police are investigating complaints by several shop-owners in the city center that found signs taped to their shop windows Monday morning warning shopkeepers, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, that the police will not be protecting their stores in coming days due to their reassignment to face protesters. "Dear business-owner," the signs say, "As the police will be busy expelling Jews, they will not have time to protect your property."

Similar signs were discovered Friday morning on Jerusalem's Kanfei Nesharim Commercial Center in the Givat Sha’ul neighborhood – home to the offices of the Disengagement Authority. The signs read: "On disengagement day, 15 August, we will be breaking into your business since police will be busy elsewhere," signed by "the city’s criminals."