Rally on Rustaveli Avenue to resume today

Protesters made their feelings about Russian president Vladimir Putin known on the Rustaveli Avenue on Friday, as a younger crowd gathered on the street on the second day of demonstrations. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Agenda.ge, 22 Jun 2019 - 11:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

The peaceful demonstration in front of the parliament of Georgia in central Tbilisi will resume at 7 p.m. today.

Demonstrators announced last night they will continue rallying until all of their demands are fulfilled.

Their three major demands include:

  1. the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia;
  2. the release of people detained yesterday; 
  3. holding of snap parliamentary elections with proportional electoral system

Unlike the first day of protests, June 21 rallies featured much less participation of political leaders of the opposition, and more emphasis from common citizens and youth. The average age of rally participants on June 21 was around 20.

A view on the crowd in front of the Parliament of Georgia. Thousands were present in the location on both days of protests. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Citizens who gathered for the second consecutive day in front of the Parliament in Georgia wore accessories and displayed signs related to the occupation and the treatment of protesters from the police the previous night.

Participants wore eye bands as signs of their protest of the law enforcement's use of rubber bullets that caused injuries on June 20, and the fact of the occupation of 20 percent of Georgian territory by Russian troops.

Banners with messages berating both the ruling party and the political figures from the opposition who stoked anger on Thursday are displayed on the second day of events in Tbilisi. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

The two days of rallies followed initial smaller-sized protests in the noon on Thursday, when political opposition and citizens demanded repercussions for the government for letting a Russian delegation to Tbilisi for an international event hosted by Georgia.

Protesters expressed their anger at seeing a Russian State Duma MP speak from the Georgian parliament speaker's chair as Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), two Georgian regions, are occupied by the Russian military.

A young participant is seen with a shirt bearing a message condemning the presence of Russian troops in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and their erecting of barbed wire administrative boundaries separating Georgian-controlled territory from the two regions. Photo: Nino Alavidez/Agenda.ge