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Eleven Years Pass since Events of November 7, 2007

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, November 8
Eleven years passed since November 7 of 2007, when the previous state leadership brutally dispersed thousands of peaceful demonstrators in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi and raided Imedi TV, a private media broadcaster.

A total of 508 people were taken to hospital when the riot police attacked the peaceful protesters and tried to block the capital’s main Rustaveli Avenue.

Series of anti-government protests took place across all Georgia. The demonstrations peaked on 2 November 2007, when 50,000–100,000 people rallied in downtown Tbilisi. People protested against the allegedly corrupt government of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The government accused the Russian secret services of being involved in an attempted coup d'etat and declared a nationwide state of emergency later that day which lasted until late 16 November 2007.

The next day Saakashvili announced an early Presidential Election for January 5, 2008, as a compromise to the solution.

On November 7, 2018, public representatives held a meeting at Rustaveli Theater to express protest to November 7, 2007 events in Tbilisi. Afterward, the protesters moved to Rustaveli Avenue and held a protest rally – “I Protect Freedom.” The main slogan of the protest was “We Remember November 7.”

Georgian politicians from the ruling party and opposition also made comments regarding the November 7 developments.

According to Tbilisi Mayor, Kakha Kaladze, November 7 entered Georgian history as the “day of spontaneous and powerful protest against the violent regime.”

“On November 7, the facade of the pseudo-democracy began to ruin and it showed the real face of the United National Movement to whole Europe,” he stated.

Parliament Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze says the face of the previous ruling party UNM is still active today.

“November 7 is the day when the National Movement presented itself to the society with its brutal form… This face is still cruel and absolutely ugly, which has nothing to do with European values,” said Kobakhidze.

Member of the United National Movement and the presidential candidate of the United Opposition, Grigol Vashadze says dispersal of November 7, 2007 rally was “the gravest mistake of the previous government.”

"Those times I had no connection with then-government, I was not holding any high-rank position but still, I fully share the responsibility caused by this day and I consider myself a part of the problem,” he said.

Ex-Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi Ugulava, who was holding the mayor’s position then, took to Facebook:

“Everything can be explained, everything has its preconditions, but on November 7, 2007, we made a mistake. #Sorry,” his post reads.