Disabled protestors raised tens of thousands of shekels a few short hours after launching the crowdfunded campaign to pay for fines they received for blocking public intersections.
The campaign was initiated by the Standing Together NGO after police fined traffic-blocking disabled protestors on Monday for the first time, after several months of ongoing protests. Wheelchair-bound Israelis have been blocking off major thoroughfares as part of their campaign to raise the monthly stipends they receive from the National Insurance Institute from NIS 2,342 to the minimum wage of NIS 5,000.
"We are prepared to block traffic and we are prepared to donate," declared Itamar Avnery, a member of Standing Together's leadership. "The government can not continue to abandon society's weaker sectors, and the public supports the struggle of these courageous people who leave the house and demand that the government finally begin to treat them as they deserve - with dignity, equality, as we all deserve."
"It is impossible to survive on NIS 2,342 a month," wrote the crowdfunding website. "It is impossible to live, and it is impossible to pay fines. Let us all help out and pay their fines so we can support their struggle, which is important not only for them but for us as well."
Police had announced on Sunday that their forgiving attitude towards the protests was over after disabled demonstrators blocked off Tel Aviv's Ayalon Highway, snarling traffic and enraging drivers heading back to work after the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
"As part of the dialogue process, the police offered organizers alternative protest routes that do not create a serious disturbance to movement," said police spokeswoman Major General Merav Lapidot.