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Protest Rally Enters into Fourth Day
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 May.'11 / 10:54

Protest rally, launched by the People’s Assembly to force President Saakashvili resign, entered a fourth day on May 24 with protesters continuing blocking Kostava Street outside the public broadcaster.

Number of protesters varies from few hundred during the night-time to few thousand at afternoons at the height of gatherings.

Like a night earlier, there have been no incidents with police involvement last night, although there have been couple of arguments and a brawl between some protesters and journalists; in one case a cameraman was punched by a drunk young man at the protest venue outside the public broadcaster. 

May 24, according to the plan of People’s Assembly, should be a last day of protest outside the public broadcaster, as the demonstration intends to march towards the Freedom Square at noon on May 25 in order to prevent the authorities to “comfortably” hold a military parade to mark Independence Day on May 26.

The opposition Georgian Party also plans a rally on the same day calling it “the Day of Rage”. The rally is planned close to the presidential palace, just couple of kilometers away from the Freedom Square. Burjanadze said that the People’s Assembly was in coordination with the Georgian Party.

Also on May 25, a co-founder of the Georgian Party and fugitive ex-defense minster Irakli Okruashvili, plans to return back to Georgia as he had said few days ago.

Okruashvili, who has a political asylum in France and is sentenced to 11 years in jail in absentia in Georgia, said May 25 “will be the last day for this government.”

There were reports in the Georgian media on May 23 about increased patrols by the Georgian police forces across the administrative boundary line of breakaway South Ossetia. It has been speculated that Okruashvili might try to enter into Georgia via the breakaway region. A spokesman for the Georgian Interior Ministry, however, denied any “special” measures across the administrative border saying that there were routine patrols.

Movement across the administrative boundary line on the section of Akhalgori district was restricted by the Georgian police. The Interior Ministry said that it was part of a security measure ahead of the planned military parade in Tbilisi to mark the Independence Day on May 26.

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