Opposition’s Pre-protest Preparation: Broadcast … what?

Movement for the United Georgia are reading the statement to the Public Broadcaster on April 9, 2009. PHOTO BY GIORGI PKHACHIASHVILI

Kakha Kukava(Conservative Party) and Eka Beselia(Movement for the United Georgia) are reading the statement to the Public Broadcaster on April 9, 2009. PHOTO BY GIORGI PKHACHIASHVILI

TBILISI, Georgia – On Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m., the oppositional parties Movement for the United Georgia and the Conservative Party managed to gather in front of Georgian Public Broadcaster demanding that the former government-owned, current public TV station, broadcast the next day’s 9th April protests against the Saakashvili administration live.
But what exactly will the TV station be showing on April 9?
A day before the big event, the Georgian opposition parties are still unwilling – or perhaps unable – to talk about specific plans for the march.
Leaders like Eka Beselia, leader of Movement for a United Georgia, were more interested in making demands for tv coverage.
The movement led by former Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, who now lives in exile in Paris, made an announcement for the journalists and passed their statement in written form to chancellery with the following demands: “The protest should be broadcasted live from 2p.m. till 8 p.m.”
 They also demanded that the first channel should broadcast all the important decisions and announcements that the 13 opposition leaders participating in Thursday’s demonstrations will make. They also demanded to be given equal time to both the opposition and the authorities in the informational and analytical programs
The Movement for  United Georgia is a political party run by Irakli Okruashvili, Saakashvili’s former appointee as Defense Minister, who stepped down in protest in 2007 over the president’s handling of South Ossetia. He currently lives in Paris.
The day was mostly quiet, but there were a few pre-protest activities:
There were no live broadcast but there were a lot of journalists in front of the parliament at one o’clock when The Movement for the United Georgia and Conservators gathered there in order to honor the memory of the victims of 9th April in1989.
Some people from the Public Defender’s Office and Public Advocacy attended the ceremonial. They put the flowers near the huge stone in front of the parliament, which is a memorial for the victims of 9th April 1989. Then they lit candles for their memory.
After leaving the letter at the Presidential Residence with the claim not to use weapon during the protest, young people from “Why?” movement came with the signs. Young people with white shirts also made a human chain in the middle of Rustaveli Avenue. They had the posters with slogans: “Why Misha?” “Why dictator?” The participants met them with applauses. And the drivers joined them with signals.
On Thursday, April 9, more than dozen oppositional parties will start marching from three different places and at 2 p.m. they will join in front of Parliament. They will start from the President’s Residency in Avlabari, from Georgian Public Broadcaster and from Tbilisi State University. Democratic movement – United Georgia will gather at 12 o’clock near the State University and will move to the Parliament. Labor party will go straight to the Parliament. Young people from the April 9th headquarters will start their 9th April protest in front of the Parliament at midnight.
Keti Ebanoidze, Giorgi Pkhachiashvili, Ketevan Vashagashvili, Arevik Badalyan, Ia Gavasheli

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