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“Batumi training” for 9th April2009-04-06 21:31
Georgia's police have started using force to break up demonstrations. On 2nd April the republic's Interior Ministry responded harshly to an action organized by the opposition movement "For a just Georgia" in Batumi, which was devoted to making appeals to the population to take to the streets in a week's time and demand the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili.
"The participants in the action were sticking up posters when policemen came up to them and started to disperse them," reports Interpressnews. The posters and paints were seized from the people, after which "everyone was dealt with physically, including the women". Georgia's Interior Ministry has not yet given any comment on these reports, hence giving rise to yet more rumours.
The leader of the "For a just Georgia" movement is Saakashvili's former close adviser and former prime minister, Zurab Nogaideli. Quite recently he confidently declared that on the eve of 9th April the president would leave for Adjari to wait out the "political storms" there. "The rally must definitely take place wherever Saakashvili is," he was quoted by VZGLYAD. "We will not leave the coward and traitor Saakashvili in peace in Adjari. We will hold protest actions there as well."
And in actual fact, the action that was carried out showed that Nogaideli was not only capable of high-profile accusatory speeches against the president. And it must be said that his statements are even just as striking and have just as much resonance as those of bold Shalva Natelashvili. Although in late February Nogaideli's voice was still not standing out among the chorus of dissatisfied Georgian citizens:
"The actions taken by President Saakashvili and his entourage led to a loss of territory, which is why he must resign," Interfax quoted the statement made by Nogaideli's party. "Every day that Saakashvili remains in power creates a threat to the state, which could end up in international isolation because of the current ruling regime. Georgia is no longer recognized as a democratic country, and it has been added to the black list of corrupt states."