Thursday, January 10, 2008

Trouble ahead for the January 13 rally?

CORRECTION: Chalk this one up to poor translations and this week's rampant confusion: the City Hall statement warns against creating "obstacles for municipal transport." It also bans demonstrations within 20 meters of government facilities.

On January 13, the opposition coalition plan to march their supporters from one end of Rustaveli Avenue to the other.

Today, Tbilisi City Hall said they have a permit to do that -- as long as they don't block traffic. A vice-mayor told one of our journalists that the law forbids rallies to block traffic, then hung up the phone.

That's an odd thing to say; the point of applying for a rally permit is to allow the demonstrators to block traffic. City Hall is saying thousands of protesters will have to squeeze onto the sidewalk for their rally.

Kukava of the opposition coalition says they have no intention to abide by that rule, and indeed it's difficult to see how they could. A police crackdown on January 13 demonstrators is almost unimaginable, but City Hall's statements only seem to be inviting trouble.


At January 10, 2008 at 7:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the goal of this rally is to invite Georgian autority to use violence. Gather as much information about those "violent" acts, exxagerate a little, blame mr. Saakasvilli and try to find international support. If this doesn't work say you will be going in hungerstrike, call some familymember and let him go in hungerstrike instead of you. But...this is my opinion.


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