The special force’s call to open Rustaveli Avenue and put an end to today’s protest has been met with a boycott by protesters.
Protesters began a peaceful demonstration on Rustaveli this afternoon, but as the night wore on, several protestors began making violent lunges toward the special forces units and damaging property. While some demonstrators were dancing, sitting in the road, or offering flowers to police officers as a peaceful protest, others began to use benches, bins and electric scooters to form a barricade against a possible advance.
A protestor launched a molotov cocktail at the police line, which was quickly put out with the water cannon.
The Special Forces Groups have at various times throughout today’s protest, in response to rising tensions, employed tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets against protestors in order to keep them at bay. Within the last hour, a number of protesters, standing peacefully but at risk in the line of fire, were asked to leave or were forcibly taken away. Police have arrested more than six people so far.
Empty yellow buses and a number of cars have been brought onto Rustaveli Avenue from Liberty Square. We presume the purpose is a barricade or to transport police and/or those who may be arrested.