A neo-fascist group is planning to hold a ‘Georgian March’ at 20:00 on Friday, July 14 on Aghmashenabeli avenue in Tbilisi, with a message to “clean Georgia of illegal immigrants.” The organizers are members of the Erovnulebi (Nationalists) movement, Sandro Bregadze and Gia Korkotashvili, among others. The group has demanded the government make all “illegal foreigners” leave the country by July 14.
There has been no information from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia regarding plans to increase security during the demonstration.
On September 28, 2016, police clashed with protesters on Agmashenabeli avenue who were demonstrating under the slogan “Georgia for Georgians.” The protesters yelled curses against Turkish people and Turkey, and smashed the windows of a Turkish shop located on Agmashenabeli avenue. 11 people were arrested for hooliganism.
In response to the planned ‘Georgian March’ demonstration, a group of citizens are planning to hold an alternative protest at the exact same time in the village of Bershueti, where Russian soldiers moved the wire fence of the Administrative Boundary Line of South Ossetia on July 4.
The citizens wrote in the event description on Facebook:
“[On] July 14, 2017, 8pm, exactly when the ‘March of Georgians’ takes place on Agmashenebeli Avenue, we would like to stand near the occupation line that keeps growing on a daily basis! We would like to demonstrate to our fellow citizens and [to] Georgia’s supporters abroad that occupation is the most alarming problem for our country. We shall be aware that the Russian army is the real enemy to the territorial integrity of Georgia and not foreigners legally residing in the country. The Russian army now stands only a few meters away from the country’s main road.
With this demonstration, we, citizens of Georgia, will express our peaceful, civic position. We would like to stand close to the creeping occupation line and demonstrate that occupation worries Georgia’s citizens.
Please, join the silent demonstration on Friday, July 14 after work and express your civic position!”.