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One year after June 20-21 rally

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, June 22
A year has passed since the 2019 June 20-21 rallies. The protests started as the Russian MP Gavrilov sat in the seat of the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia. The fact was followed by protests and an aggressive dispersal of the rally, which was criticized by local and international diplomats. Authorities say the dispersal of the rally was ‘an inevitable necessity’ caused by the attempts of a group of protesters to break into the parliament building. Authorities believe that a certain group of opposition members intended to overthrow the government. However, the investigation didn’t find the mentioned group guilty of the government’s accusation.

This year, activists and political figures gathered in front of the parliament building in response to the events of June 20-21, 2019. Former President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili also attended the protest.

“The government that fires bullets at patriotic slogans is not a democratic one. The government that then disperses their citizens with patriotic slogans is not a democratic one. The government that has political prisoners in its country is authoritarian. The government that promises and deceives its own nation and international partners is a fraud,” said Margvelashvili.

An anti-occupation protest took place on Rustaveli Avenue, which is dedicated to the anniversary of the events of June 20-21, 2019.

The protest was carried out in compliance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Georgia. The members of "Shame" warned the protesters several times that it was obligatory to use a face mask and maintain the recommended distance.

According to official data, about 240 people were injured during the dispersal of the demonstration on Rustaveli Avenue, including about 80 police officers. Among the injured were several dozen journalists. Protesters received various injuries, with a few of them losing eyesight.

One of the main demands of the protesters following the dispersal was the resignation of then Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Gakharia, who ended up becoming Prime Minister of Georgia.