Tbilisi Pride held, demonstrators of two different rallies spend the night on Rustaveli Avenue
09 July, 2019
Tbilisi Pride held, demonstrators of two different rallies spend the night on Rustaveli Avenue
Anti-occupation demonstrators and opponents of Tbilisi Pride spent last night on Rustaveli Avenue. Participants of both demonstrations are still in front of the Parliament building. Law enforcers are also mobilized in the area. Several incidents took place during the night, including physical confrontation. Opponents of Tbilisi Pride threw bottles at anti-occupation demonstrators. Opponents of Tbilisi Pride say they will not allow organizers of Tbilisi Pride to hold any event on Rustaveli Avenue.
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Activists in Georgia say they managed to hold a
small gay pride parade in the capital, Tbilisi, on July 8. About two dozen protesters, including human rights activists and members of the LGBT community, protested outside the Interior Ministry while holding signs and rainbow flags. Extremist groups planned to disperse protesters, however, the march had already been completed when they arrived at the place.

Earlier, organizers had said that the event had been cancelled after the planned route of the march was leaked online. The Pride March had been originally planned for June 22 but organizers postponed it after a violent police crackdown against anti-occupation demonstrators in the capital.

Opponents of Tbilisi Pride

Businessman Levan Vasadze called on supporters to assemble at Vera Park at 10:00 am on July 8. According to him, "Tbilisi Pride’s" “March of Dignity” will not be held. He said tens of thousands of supporters will be mobilized and they will wait for the “time and place of holding the march.” Levan Vasadze asserts they intend to protect the order.
vasadze
“We are going there for protecting the order. A lot of people will arrive at Vera Park to protect the order…Our goal is to break a police cordon and manhandle the propagandists of obsceneness and inversion,” Levan Vasadze said and called on the citizens to bind white napkins and belts on their hands “in order to recognize each other and by using the belts to manhandle those, who assault our country,” Vasadze said in a video address released on Sunday evening.

Anti-occupation rally

Peaceful demonstrations against the occupation have been taking place in front of the Parliament building since 20th of June. The protesters demand the resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia, the release of people detained on the 20th of June and the conduct of proportional elections in 2020. The government agreed to two demands but refuses to remove Gakharia from his post. According to the organizers, the demonstrations will continue unless all their demands are responded.

The events taking place June 20-21 in Georgia

Angered by the presence of Sergei Gavrilov in Georgia, the citizens gathered at the Parliament building in Tbilisi to protest Russian occupation in Georgia on the 20th of June. Sergei Gavrilov, a deputy of the Russian Duma from the Communist Party was leading the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy at that time. When a photo of him sitting in the Chairman’s chair in the Parliament of Georgia on the 20th of June was spread, opposition parties, as well as ordinary citizens, called on the authorities to take proper measures.
june_20_21
The assembly was canceled and Sergei Gavrilov left Georgia but the demonstrations against Russian occupation continued. Protesters demanded the resignation of the Chairperson of the Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze. During the demonstration on the 20th of June, a small group of protesters was said to be encouraged by a number of opposition leaders to storm the Parliament building. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to stop protesters entering the country’s parliament. Dozens of Injured police officers, civilians and journalists were taken to the hospital. Two civilians had to undergo enucleation procedure. Law enforcers detained a number of demonstrators. On the 21st of June, Irakli Kobakhidze resigned.

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