A group of taxi drivers protested on May 22 against blocking of main thoroughfare in the capital city, complaining that barricaded streets in downtown Tbilisi affected their income.
Rustaveli Avenue outside the Parliament is blocked since April 9 when the ongoing protests started; opposition expanded area of protest and blocked the Freedom Square and nearby small streets with improvised prison cells on April 21.
After gathering on Rike, an area about a kilometer away from the protest venue, several hundred of horn-honking taxis headed towards the protest venue and after approaching the Freedom Square some taxi drivers removed one of the improvised cells by turning it around. The move triggered a scuffle and verbal argument between some taxi drivers and opposition activists.
Meanwhile, the television stations showed on May 22 Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi Ugulava, meeting a group of local residents of Tabakhmela village in outskirts of Tbilisi, who were also complaining about blocking of streets in downtown Tbilisi saying that it was creating inconveniences for the locals in the village making difficulties for public transport to reach the village.
“I hope this problem will be resolved soon. And I want to request organizers [of the ongoing protests] to take into consideration opinion of these population,” said Ugulava, who also called on the locals for “patience.”
Also on May 22, PM Nika Gilauri said after meeting with foreign diplomats accredited in Georgia, that blocked streets in downtown Tbilisi harmed the country’s economy.