Several thousands of protesters gathered outside the Parliament on November 25 for a rally dubbed as People’s Gathering, or Public Assembly, backed by some opposition parties.
The rally, spearheaded by ex-parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement-United Georgia opposition party, is the largest one held since the opposition’s lengthy street protests in spring, 2009.
Participants of the rally, which will start at 3pm local time, started to gather outside the Parliament by the noon and few hours later the capital city’s main thoroughfare, Rustaveli Avenue, in front of the legislative body, was blocked.
The rally includes several thousand of movement supporters, called delegates, who, the organizers say, were selected in their local communities throughout the country with each of them claimed to be representing dozens of other local residents of those communities. Organizers said in ahead of the rally they expected about 12,000 delegates to turn out at the rally, which, they said, would have an ambition to represent hundreds of thousands of citizens throughout the country. The rally also includes activists and supporters of those opposition parties, which initially were skeptical about the initiative, but eventually decided to join it – the National Forum is one of such parties.
Opposition politicians behind the rally say that the rally should mark launch of a process, which should eventually lead to resignation of President Saakashvili. They say that the movement’s further action will largely depend on the scale of the rally.
Most of those opposition parties, which participated in the May local elections refused to join the initiative, except of Conservative Party and People’s Party.