Tbilisi protests resume, last demand remains unchanged

The peaceful demonstrators march from the First Republic Square to the Freedom Square before resuming the protest in front of the parliament of Georgia for the tenth consecutive day. Photo: Agenda.ge

Agenda.ge, 29 Jun 2019 - 21:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Peaceful demonstrators have gathered on Rustaveli Avenue in central Tbilisi for the tenth consecutive day today, again demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia

The protesters marched from the First Republic Square to the Freedom Square in sign of peaceful protest before they would resume the demonstration in front ot the parliament of Georgia. 

June 29 rallies featured more participation of political leaders of the opposition and public figures, together with common citizens and youth. People arrived from regions to join the peaceful protest as well.


The organisers condemn the recent statements of Interior Minister Gakharia that the police used legitimate force against protesters on Rustaveli Avenue on the night of June 20 and claim they will not stop until their last demand in fulfilled.

Although Minister Gakharia explained in his recent televised interview that the rubber bullets that were used on June 20 are in line with international standards and none of them were illegal to use at similar demonstrations, the protesters claim the police used unjustified force and targeted people with bullets used to hunt animals.


Size of the crowd

Agenda.ge estimated the size of the crowd using media’s classical method: We measured the rally area using Google Maps and defined the density using photos captured by our photographer Nino Alavidze.

Also we use aerial footage by Georgian Public Broadcaster.

A loose crowd, where each person is an arm's length from the body of his/her nearest neighbour, needed 0.9 m² per person. A more tightly packed crowd would fill 0.4 m² per person.

The area where the gathering took place measures 6 880 m². In Agenda.ge pictures you can clearly see the density of the crowd, which varies in different parts of the part of the Rustaveli Avenue in front of the building of The Georgian Parliament.

All photos are captioned around  20.30 Tbilisi local time. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Through our calculations, we believe that the number of demonstrators at this place is in the middle of two figures:

  • in a loose crowd there were about 7 644 people
  • in a tightly packed crowd there could be up about 17 200 people.

See the interactive map for more details:


Tbilisi protests were sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament during the 26th Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, when Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov took the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker to address the audience.

  • The rally following the developments in parliament on June 20 was dispersed by police after a part of the demonstrators decided to storm the parliament building, leaving 305 detained and 240 injured.
  • The Georgian Dream ruling party says that the “justified and peaceful” protest of people was transformed into violence due to the “provocative and destructive” actions by opposition members.
  • A member of the UNM Nika Melia has been charged with incitement to violence during the rally.

Protests in Tbilisi continue as their last demand remain unfulfilled – the resignation of Interior Minister Gakharia [for the dispersal of the rally].