Opposition supporters form human chain in Tbilisi on 18th anniversary of Rose Revolution
November 23, the 18th anniversary of the Rose Revolution, was celebrated by hundreds of residents of Georgia‘s capital, Tbilisi, who formed a human chain in the city’s main square.
Protesters held Georgian and EU flags, roses, and small banners with inscriptions describing the results of the revolution.
“Patrol instead of hooligans”, “West instead of Russia” the banners read. The Ukrainian flag was also displayed at the rally.
The rally was organised by supporters of the United National Movement, the opposition party that ousted Eduard Shevardnadze’s government in Georgia in 2003 following the Rose Revolution.
On November 23, 2003, Saakashvili stormed the Georgian parliament, ousted President Eduard Shevardnadze, took his place and drank tea from his cup.
Saakashvili, 36, was holding a rose as a sign that his actions were peaceful.
On the 18th anniversary of the Rose Revolution, its protagonist, Mikheil Saakashvili, a former president, was admitted as a prisoner to the Gori Military Hospital. The ex-president was taken to this hospital a few days prior to November 23, following a 50-day hunger strike.
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His release was one of the main demands of the people who joined the human chain. Numerous banners with this inscription were displayed at the rally.
In addition to ordinary citizens, the rally was attended by many celebrities and members and leaders of the United National Movement.
“Our main message is to return freedom to our country. We must liberate the captured state, everyone, every citizen of Georgia, and free Misha. Misha must be released”, said Khatia Dekanoidze, a former Kutaisi mayoral candidate and member of the United National Movement.
The leader of the party, Nika Melia, said that by the end of the week the public will learn a specific action plan – a strategy that will lead the opposition to victory.
“The most important thing is strategic patience, you, me and many people wanted the oligarch not to be in charge of state institutions and the country to be able to breathe.
It will happen, definitely in the near future, but complaining about why it did not happen yesterday will not help tomorrow and the day after tomorrow”, Melia said.