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Fight breaks out at massive protest in Tbilisi against foreign agents law – video

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Fight breaks out at massive protest in Tbilisi against foreign agents law – video

Thousands of people in Tbilisi turned out on Sunday evening to protest against the law On Transparency of Foreign Influence, which jeopardises Georgia’s pro-Western policy and aspirations for European integration. A fight broke out with the police.

Source: Echo of the Caucasus, a Radio Liberty project; Georgia Online

Today’s sincere protest of thousands of Georgians against the #Russian #law is another proof that Georgians are already Europeans, #Georgia🇬🇪is already #Europe🇪🇺! The Government must face the reality, avoid any attempt of civic confrontation, withdraw the law, bring Country back…

— Giorgi Gakharia (@GakhariaGiorgi) April 28, 2024

Details: The March for Europe, organised by the non-governmental sector and youth movements, was attended by representatives of the opposition, civil society activists and ordinary citizens.

A column of thousands of protesters stretched along the main street, Rustaveli Avenue.

The protest organisers called on the authorities to cancel the second reading of the draft law On Transparency of Foreign Influence in the legal committee, which is scheduled for Monday.

After speeches by the protest organisers and leaders, the protesters headed for the parliament and surrounded the building with a symbolic human chain.

Georgia Online reported that the situation outside the parliament has become more complicated. The protesters are trying to get onto a stage that has been set up for a rally by the ruling Georgian Dream party on Monday. The stage is guarded by police. There was a minor scuffle with the police as a result. The protesters removed part of the crowd control barrier installed in front of the building.

Most of the protesters are in front of the parliament. Several hundred police officers are there to keep order. They are mainly stationed along the barriers that had been put up for Monday’s Georgian Dream rally. The police are not allowing the protesters to approach the stage. Special operations forces are also on duty in the area.

The Interior Ministry has issued a statement on its website calling for respect for the freedom of assembly and urging protesters not to break the stage set up in front of the parliament. „Any violation of the law will be immediately curbed by the police,“ the statement says.

Background: Protests outside the parliament in the Georgian capital have been taking place daily since 15 April, but after the first few days, they were mostly small-scale, student-led events. 

The second reading of the draft law On Transparency of Foreign Influence is scheduled for 29 April.

The ruling Georgian Dream party has invited its supporters to a rally on that day. 

Georgia’s Western partners continue to send signals that the draft law is incompatible with the country’s pro-Western agenda.

This week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the EU not to start membership talks with Georgia while the controversial law On Transparency of Foreign Influence is in force. The Georgian authorities have expressed outrage at this decision.

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