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The calls of Georgian opposition2009-04-14 17:38
Tbilisian protestors did not manage to take timeout on Palm Sunday. After the nightly debacle in the press center the crowd again gathered in front of the parliament. The appearance of Tbilisian street cleaners who fell under suspicion of the oppositionists provoked a fistfight. As a result the protestors took the garbage away to the Mayor's Office. The next in turn is transportable WCs problem solution.
On Saturday Georgia's Interior Ministry calmed the opposition down: all cases of violence against protestors are being investigated except for the assault on Georgia's ex Defense Minister Georgy Karkarashvili (the victim did not call the police). The Interior Ministry makes use of no special means to silence loudspeakers neither does it keep special equipment for rally dispersion in the parliament yard, the official statement reads. After such assertions the leaders of opposition relaxed and offered their supporters to have a rest on Palm Sunday. No such luck, however...
On the night of the Orthodox holiday an incident took place near the press center of the protestors. The videos presented by the Interior Ministry and published on Civil.ge show a few people in orange clothes - street cleaners apparently - coming close to the fenced spot near a two-floor booth. Then a fistfight began between guys in civilian clothes in the crowd. It is difficult to discern faces on the video and understand who is smashing down the equipment. "The activists of National Movement and Constitutional security department officers (Interior Ministry) that came with the Cleaning service employees attacked the protest action site and physically insulted some (oppositional activists)", - the eye-witness of the events, Democratic Movement - United Georgia leader Nino Burdzhanadze told. Later she promised to name several policemen identified on the indistinct video. According to the oppositionists as a result of the incident the equipment for protest actions and press center PCs were damaged.
The Interior Ministry presented the event in a different light placing all the blame for the conflict with garbage men on protestors and the destruction of equipment on unknown young men who then ran away to the nearest metro station. "The protest organizers asked for a group of street cleaners and coordinated this issue with the city council. When the group of cleaners arrived at the place the citizens who took part in the demonstration insulted them verbally and physically. Computers and voice equipment were damaged. Nobody was seriously injured", - the official statement reads. The police repeatedly promised not to intervene in the protest actions and preserve the protestors' right to express their opinion.