Above:file photo. Haredim throw stones at police in Mea Shearim, July 2011
Thousands of haredim protested and then rioted last night night in Jerusalem to protest the opening of a new movie theater complex on Shabbat.
The new Yes theaters are located in southern Jerusalem, far from any haredi neighborhood. But haredim protested in norht Jerusalem, in the the über haredi neighborhood of Mea Shearim and in the formerly prominently secular Romema neighborhood (which borders on large haredi neighborhoods which are themselves becoming subsumed in what might be called Greater Mea Shearim).
…Hundreds of those participating tried to break into the Israel Broadcasting Authority's office on nearby Torah Mitzion Street [not far from Allenby Square]. Some also threw stones at police and smashed the glass at a security station.
Police say that authorities dispersed the crowds with necessary force, without arresting or injuring anyone. Eli Schlesinger, A writer for the haredi site B'hedrei haredim later wrote, "I stood alone on a traffic island, without others around me. I noticed that police were coming towards me but I did not expect them to attack me without cause, only because I was wearing a streimel and kaftan [traditional haredi clothes]."
"A cop named Liron approached me. When I suspected that he would attack me, I immediately told him that I am a journalist who came to observe, but he did not care. He pushed me with his hands, while ripping my suit and yelling slurs. If I was secular, whether or not I was a journalist, would have have still attacked? Of course not. I did nothing, I wasn't standing next to someone who may have attack a cop," Schlesinger added.
Police responded to the article by claiming that the author, "was speaking about a violent and illegal protest. It seems that he was in the area where they were clearing the protesters. It goes without saying that he did not present the officer with a Press ID."