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Opposition and NGOs prepare for November 7 protests

By Londa Modebadze
Tuesday, November 3
The non-governmental organisations who are planning to hold a protest on 7 November gathered at the Imedi Channel on November 2. They included the organisation For Our Rights, the Georgian Academy, Defend Life, Defend Georgia and Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights.

The action plan for the demonstration was outlined in detail. Leader of For Our Rights Davit Liluashvili stated that it will be held on Rustaveli Avenue. It will begin at 3 pm on November 7 and protestors will march from the head office of the Georgian Public Broadcaster to Parliament. Liluashvili added that protestors will make three demands of the Government. After the protest a service for the unification of Georgia will be held in Kashveti church.

Chair of Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights Nana Kakabadze did not specify what each of the three demands in document they would present to the Government would be but said that one would be that political prisoners must be released. “That should be the people’s protest against every freak event that has happened before and after 7 November 2007,” explained Kakabadze.

Leader of the 7 November Movement Jaba Jishkariani stated that the fight is not finished yet and the Georgian people will not accept Saakashvili’s violence. He appealed to everyone to take part in the protest on November 7. “We want to tell Georgian society and citizen Mikheil Saakashvili that the fight is not over yet,” said Jishkariani.

Opposition political parties will be holding a debate at the Radisson Iveria hotel on November 7 on the initiative of The Way of Georgia. At this meeting the parties will represent their analyses of the 6 year rule of the Government and President. NGOs, the media and diplomats are also invited to this meeting.

“The Way of Georgia will inevitably take part in the planned protest action. It is a civil manifestation in which every political party will participate,” Sopho Jajanashvili, spokesperson of the party, told The Messenger.

The Georgian Troupe will take part in demonstrations on 7 November. Its leader Jondi Baghaturia has told The Messenger that it was one of the initiators of the 7 November actions and will therefore take part. “However, we will be standing with the other demonstrators rather than on the platform. We will be beside our citizens and express our protest against injustice as we did two years ago. I think the 7 November protest actions should be a symbol of the unity of the Georgian people and their political parties,” added Baghaturia.

Not everyone is so keen to take part however. “We are neither initiators nor organisers of this manifestation. Our party will reveal its position to society in the near future,” Manana Nachkebia, a member of New Rights, told The Messenger.

“The Labour Party is always next to the Georgian people. At the Rose Revolution the leader of our party Shalva Natelashvili warned the Georgian people what would happen if Saakashvili came to power and we can see that everything he said has come true. However we will stand beside our people always and we will take part in the demonstration on November 7,” Paata Jibladze, one of the leaders of the Labour Party, told The Messenger.