Opposition pickets Georgian parliament building, police detain activists
A plenary session of the Georgian parliament is being held today against the backdrop of noisy protests.
In the morning, opposition party members and civil activists gathered in front of the building, trying to picket the parliament building and arrange “corridors of shame” for MPs.
Police have been mobilized near the building, iron barriers have been installed along the entrances.
According to the Georgian Interior Ministry, seven opposition activists were arrested this morning for disobeying police demands. According to activists, the police arrested them for their slogans, ‘the content of which is unacceptable to the ruling party.’
Activist Gigi Makarashvili says the activists did not violate anything, and the detentions began after they started shouting slogans and calling the ruling party “slaves”.
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Protesters demand early parliamentary elections and the release of political prisoners, and say their main goal is to create maximum discomfort for members of the ruling party
“This is a peaceful protest. We are not going to block the building, just all the MPs will have to go through the corridor of shame organized by the people,” said Zaal Udumashvili, one of the leaders of the United National Movement.
The opposition announced the beginning of permanent protests after the arrest of the party chairman Nika Melia as a result of a special operation at the headquarters of the largest opposition party, United National Movement.
Since then, the opposition has held two large rallies, setting up tents in front of parliament and declaring a regime of continuous rallies pending new parliamentary elections, the release of Melia and other government opponents, whose arrest, according to the opposition, is politically motivated.
Several more pickets and rallies are planned this week.
The political crisis in the country escalated to such an extent that high-ranking foreign politicians have intervened in the situation.
European Council President Charles Michel arrived in Tbilisi on Sunday to persuade the government to negotiate with the opposition.
Charles Michel held a meeting between the opposition and the authorities and made statements that negotiations would continue, but the organizers of the rally said that they were not satisfied with one achievement and needed