Tbilisi Marks First Anniversary of ‘Gavrilov’s Night’

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Tbilisi marked the first anniversary of the 20 June 2019 violent dispersal by riot police of an opposition protest held outside the parliament building on the capital’s central Rustaveli Avenue. A year ago last weekend, thousands of protestors assembled spontaneously outside the Georgian parliament after a visiting Russian MP, Sergei Gavrilov, addressed it from the speaker’s chair. Photo story by Onnik J. Krikorian

Many of those protesting attempted to break into the parliament building that evening, and riot police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets in an operation that was widely considered to be disproportionate and indiscriminate. Hundreds were injured. Three months of daily protests followed what is now referred to as ‘Gavrilov’s Night’ and were an informal and early start to the October 2020 parliamentary elections.
Nevertheless, the government’s standing has significantly improved because of its handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. There have been just 908 confirmed cases and only 14 deaths.