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Israeli Police Target Activists As Economic Reform Protests Resume

Israel's J14 movement, which began in Tel Aviv last Summer saw crowds of as many as 500,000 all demanding economic reforms, ended abruptly in the Fall. As the movement reorganized for the first major demonstration of 2012 on Saturday, May

Israel's J14 movement, which began in Tel Aviv last Summer saw crowds of as many as 500,000 all demanding economic reforms, ended abruptly in the Fall. As the movement reorganized for the first major demonstration of 2012 on Saturday, May police targeted the group's leaders.

Protesters there face many of the same criticisms as do members of the Occupy Wall Street movement here in the U.S., "leaderless movement," and "no clear objectives," for example.

"The saddest thing for me, said playwright, director and author Udi Aloni, "is that people here don't understand that until they unite with the Palestinian movement, they will never change anything here."

As police began grabbing protesters in the streets -- targeting those they believed to be "leaders" -- the crowds chanted "The whole nation is in the opposition!" Police media staff circled the demonstrators filming those who carried megaphones, or otherwise looked like leaders.

One protester was arrested after police officers discussed video footage obtained by the media staff that captured the young man calling the police "fascists." A legal expert who is questioned in the above video explains that it's not only illegal to insult Israeli police, but also the use of the word "fascist" -- even as a political statement -- can be grounds for arrest that frequently leads to convictions.

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