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Clashes at Protest Venue outside GPB
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 May.'11 / 12:22

Two separate clashes erupted at the protest venue outside the Georgian Public Broadcaster on Kostava Street on May 22; in one of them police used rubber bullets.

The first one occurred in early on Sunday, when protesters clashed with several police officers, attacking their car with plastic sticks, which are also used as a flag handles, smashing the car’s windows. Protesters said that they had “to resist” police attempt “to kidnap” several activists of the People’s Assembly. As the car managed to drive away from the scene, a separate group of policemen fired rubber bullets at the protesters. Thick white clouds of smoke were also seen. Several people were injured and at least one person, an elderly woman was taken to hospital after the incident, which lasted for several minutes.

The Interior Ministry said that protesters’ attack on three policemen and their car was unprovoked. “Protesters under the alcohol influence… attacked the vehicle of Vake-Saburtalo police division,” the ministry said in the statement, adding that several policemen were injured in the incident. It also said that “several protesters” were arrested.

In a separate incident, which occurred at the same protest venue outside the Georgian Public Broadcaster, few hours later protesters clashed with an unknown group of men in civilian clothes, who held the same plastic sticks, which many protesters have and which are also used as flag handles. Several people were injured as a result of the clash. The protesters said that “provocateurs sent among the protesters by the police” attacked them. Several ambulance vehicles arrived at the scene as several people were injured.

Couple of hundred protesters spent all night outside the Georgian Public Broadcasters. The rally continues with Nino Burjanadze, ex-parliamentary speaker and key figure behind the ongoing protest saying that “the revolution has already started.”

“It has been triggered by the authorities and their illegal actions,” she said on May 22.

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