SOCIETY
The first protest expressed through massive rave to electronic music in Tbilisi
14 May, 2018
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city. Part of the citizens expressed their protest against raid that was conducted at Tbilisi’s one of the first and most popular night clubs Bassiani and Café Gallery.
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The large-scale electronic music rally in front of parliament in Tbilisi. Photo courtesy Vakho Kareli

As reported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the reason behind the special operation was to detain drug
dealers who supposed to be at the venues. As it is known 8 people allegedly selling different kinds of drugs were arrested, additionally several dozens of people were detained, who were later released.

The Georgian youth reacted straight away. On Saturday morning, hundreds of people gathered outside the parliament in Tbilisi to express protest and condemn violence.
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A picture from the rally. Photo courtesy Vakho Kareli

"We Dance Together. We Fight Together"- this was the main motto of the protest rally.

Here we present the best shots from the two day rally

The peaceful rally in front of the Parliament Building in Tbilisi, caused controversial reactions among society, part of them supporting the organizers and participants of the rally while the opposing side criticized them and accused them in supporting consumption of drugs. The central road of Tbilisi, Rustaveli Avenue has been divided into two parts - one occupied by the White Noise Movement activists criticizing the police raid at night clubs and demanding the modification of present drug policy, while the other group was made up of protesters headed by right-wing Georgian National Unity.
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Young girl attends the peaceful rally held at Rustaveli Avenue. Photo courtesy Vakho Kareli

The rally titled “For Our Freedom," held in Tbilisi on May 12-13, attracted the attention of international media and was spotlighted a number of channels and agencies throughout the world. The participants of the rally had an opportunity to express their position, protest and dance to electronic music , while their safety was ensured by Georgian police that surrounded the area for two days and created barrier to prevent intervention from the counter-activists from Georgian March Community.
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Photo courtesy Vakho Kareli

The peaceful rally has been hailed by international media as the Rave revolution, while others coined it as the very first protest in Tbilisi expressed through national clubbing and raving to techno music throughout entire day. At first glance one could tell that the protest gathering transformed into a large-scale electronic music event in the historic part of the city that has witnessed rallies against Soviet Union, civil war and many other strikes.
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Peaceful rally at Rustaveli Avenue. Photo courtesy Ani Ejibia

"Tens of thousands of people gathered in the center of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi to express their protest against the raid of the armed police officers, which took place in two night clubs," said the BBC's "World News" anchor.
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Georgian youth protest the raid at clubs

“Hundreds protest in Georgia after police raid night clubs. Clubbers said police used unnecessary force in the raids,” todayonline.com informed its readers.
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Photo courtesy David Sarkisov

The club raids and rally was spotlighted by Reuters as well.
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"No one can prevent me from saying "I Love You", reads the banner

”Protesters attend a rally against the Georgian authorities' anti-drug policy following the recent police raids at several local nightclubs near the building of parliament in Tbilisi, Georgia May 12, 2018,” reported the journalists of Reuters.com.
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Supportive rally was also held in New York

The situation in Georgia’s capital was spotlighted by Euronews as well. Euronews released the video depicting rallies in front of Parliament building and the clashes that occurred between the participants of the demonstration and police officers.
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Peaceful protest in front of Parliament building. Photo courtesy Nika Nozadze

“Hundreds gathered in the centre of Georgia's capital Tbilisi on Saturday (May 12) to protest against armed police raids on two nightclubs and to demand the resignation of the country's prime minister and interior minister,” reported the website.
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One of the participants of the rally gives water to police officers working on the place

Eventually the two day rally ended peacefully, after the Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia came to the place apologized in front of the protesters and promised the fulfill their demands, in particular review and modify the current drug policy.
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Georgian youth's peaceful protest at Rustaveli Avenue

First photo courtesy Vakho Kareli

Video courtesy Narita Chkhaidze

Related stories:

Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia apologized for the raid at clubs and promised to review drug policy

Citizens protest special operations conducted in Bassiani and Café Gallery clubs

Night raid in Bassiani and Café Gallery – What happened at Georgia’s most popular clubs
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