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People held flowers in their hand till the first protest day finished on 9th of April. The flowers meant People want peace.

Preparation for the protest began at 12 am.

Preparation for the protest began at 12 am.

The 9th April Youth Movement planned to assembly in front of the Rustaveli metro station.

The 9th April Youth Movement planned to assembly in front of the Rustaveli metro station.

They were distributing T-shirts “Change” written on them.

They were distributing T-shirts “Change” written on them.

Youth waited all main opposition parties to pass towards parliament after it they joined to the young people’s mass which called themselves - United Students for Georgia.

Youth waited all main opposition parties to pass towards parliament after it they joined to the young people’s mass which called themselves - United Students for Georgia.

They were from three universities – Tbilisi State University, Chavchavadze State University and Technical State University.

They were from three universities – Tbilisi State University, Chavchavadze State University and Technical State University.

Youth were screaming various slogans like “Go, go, Misha, go, go, Misha!”, “Be afraid, Saakashvili, students are coming!!!”

Youth were screaming various slogans like “Go, go, Misha, go, go, Misha!”, “Be afraid, Saakashvili, students are coming!!!”

Students made a human chain which covered all Rustaveli avenue.

Students made a human chain which covered all Rustaveli avenue.

Other side of this toy is with Putin's - prime minister of Russia - photo

Other side of this toy is with Putin's - prime minister of Russia - photo

Protesters are in front of the Parliament about 3 pm.

Protesters are in front of the Parliament about 3 pm

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Protesters are greeting the leaders from opposition

Protesters are greeting the leaders from opposition

The main point which unit both people and opposition is resignation of the presedent Saakashvili

The main point which unit both people and opposition is resignation of the presedent Saakashvili

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early-morning-protest-flowers-n-parl1

The 20th anniversary of the Day of the National Unity in front of the Parliament

TBILISI, Georgia – The day of a big opposition rally started with a small, early  morning vigil in front of Parliament.

About 60 people were gathered in front of parliament around 5 am to leave flowers and burn candles to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Day of National Unity, when 20 people were killed and scores injured when Soviet troops fired upon protesters demonstrating against the Soviet Union.

People gathered there were drinking wine and giving toasts in memory of those killed on April 9, 1989.

“I’ve come here every year, for 20 years,” said Andro Gogoladze, 42, an archaeologist.

The monument of the April 9 tragedy was covered with red tulips and carnations, white lilies and burning candles. Three sellers took the opportunity to sell candles, flowers, cigarettes and snacks.

All of the early risers planned to return to parliament at 2 p.m., though not all are planning to support the opposition groups. Gogoladze, for example, is an opposition supporter. But pensioner Natella Turmanishvili said that she will come to the protest to heckle opposition supporters.

“I will whistle and say “Go away!”to the leaders of opposition parties – like Nino Burchanadze and Irakli Alasania. Because They don’t care about us,” she said.

Teimuraz Shashiashvili, former Tbilisi mayor, said “if there is a political microphone, I won’t have a speech. Because I don’t support either Alasania’s party, nor Burchanadze’s. When they had jobs they supported Saakashvili, after they were fired they became the opposition.”

But he doesn’t like Saakashvili either.

“Saakashvili had to resign his post because he couldn’t manage things well,” he said. “His being president has been bad for the Caucasus.”

In preparation for the day’s demonstrations, an iron stage and 1 meter high wood fence were constructed in front of the Parliament building.

Vakhtang Khmaladze, member of the opposition Republican Party, said he wasn’t bothered by the fences, and thought maybe they were there to prevent a repeat of 1989, when protesters stormed parliament, causing troops to shoot at the crowds. He is sure today’s demonstrators will be peaceful and weapon-free.

“If government use weapons against simple people it will be the government’s fault, and it will be held against them,” he said.

Later at 11 a.m, high up government officials and opposition members joined Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II who visited the memorial of April 9 in front of Parliament building, according to Imedi TV news. He held a prayer to commemorate the names of people who died during the April 9, 1989 protests. President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili attended the prayer together with the head of Parliament David Bakradze and the Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava.

Members of oppositional parties Levan Gachechiladze and Nino Burjanadze were also present. After the prayer, they went to different places from where oppositional leaders are going to march towards Rustaveli Avenue.

By Vusala Alibayli and Khanim Javadova

About 60 people came to the anniversary

About 60 people came to the anniversary

People gathered there left tuilps and burned candles in front of the tragedy monument

People gathered there left tuilps and burned candles in front of the tragedy monument

Not all of the protesters are support the opposition parties

Not all of the protesters are support the opposition parties

TBILISI, Georgia – As soon as door is opened you see the fuss among the young inside of the rooms. There are about 30-40 young people, ages 18-28,  some of them is with markers and papers, some drawing posters, some watching TV and reporting back to the group.

The 9th of April Youth Movement is preparing for the 9th of April protest.

The movement of 9th April specially prepared t-shirts for the protest. The word “Change” is written on the t-shirts. All members of the movement will be wearing these shirts on the 9th of April. They are also preparing posters with various slogans, for example, “Change your future, change Georgia, and change all!”

“We support idea of this protest to change everything towards better, to make peace, to improve level of an education etc. We aren’t related to a particular political party,” says Kostantin Mukhabze, activist of the 9th of April Youth Movement.

The movement leaders estimate that there will be about 600-700 of their members.

According to Mukhabze the goal of the movement will be control of the situation to avoid incidents on the day of the protest. Members of this organization think so, because the government will try to send its people to make fight among participants.

The young gave the name “facade democracy” to Saarkashvili’s political views. They think that there are no human rights; no freedom of speech in their country.

“Our court is a spectacle. In modern life this situation doesn’t match to us. For example, government raised the fee of the universities. But minimum wage of population is not enough to pay it,” says Mukhabze.

The 9th of April Youth Movement had protests in front of Ministry of Education and Parliament.

The result is “We achieved their fear – now the government is scared of Georgians power, Georgians youth, girls, and people. No one can break Georgian spirit,” says Mukhabze.

The 9th of April Youth Movement was created three years ago, and it renames itself when demonstrations hit Tbilisi streets. For example, they called themselves the 7th of November Movement before, when hundreds of youth attended the protests.  Now it is aply renamed the 9th of April.

“We will stay till the end even if we need stay in front of the Parliament at night,” say activists of the movement.
By Vusala Alibayli

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He spends most of his time not with family, but with stones, woods and hammer. Nodar Tabadadze, 47, from Borjomi, says that it is only way for him to earn money.

Tabadadze is a laborer. He will have a job until a building on Brosse Street is destroyed.

He is enclosing a dangerous place with wood fences, and then painting them. As the building is destroyed, he also cleans all trash – stones, woods, nails.

“Do you find my job interesting? No, it is not interesting for me. Because my education level is not for this job,” he said.

Tabadadze used to be an electrical engineer at a factory in Borjomi. During the Soviet era, he was a chief mechanic.

“When I apply for job they say we need only younger workers,” he says.

He found his job with the help of a friend. He has had the job since 2000.

“I worked like engineer till Saakashvili was elected, but after he became president I have no job in my profession,” Tabadadze said.

He usually earns 10 to 20 lari per a day. Sometimes it’s as high as 30 lari. Tabadadze says that his earnings depend on him. The longer he works, the more he gets. He lives with his son who is studying in Tbilisi.

“My wife and daughter live in Borjomi, I see them once a month. This work is unpleasant for me. I would like be with my family and work according to my profession in Borjomi. It is hard to live far from my family,” he said.

 

***

       

        Reporting about the legacy of prostitution in Azerbaijan was first the success of Vusala Alibayli. After that story, she was hired as a reporter for Radio Liberty.  At age 22, she has been working as a journalist for more than three years.

 

        Alibayli started at the newspaper “Sharg” in 2005. Since 2006 she has worked at Radio Liberty as a reporter in the social field and as host of a youth program.

 

        Journalism is a life style for Alibayli. For a journalist, issues determine what a reporter does.

          “I always say, the time of journalist does not belong to her/him. There are a lot of  barriers which are inevitable in this work – for example to wait for an interviewee’s response or finish of meeting, action these all demand time” Alibayli says.

 

          But she considers that it is a pleasure to meet a lot of people and gather a lot of information.

           “Only great interest and love of this profession can make you to be journalist and not to be afraid of problems” Alibayli says.

 

          In 2008 Alibayli has graduated from Baku State University, faculty of journalism. She thinks education level is not high there. That’s why Alibayli is planning to study abroad to get more practice, to learn more about electronic media and investigation journalism.

 

           Interest in investigation journalism comes to Alibayli from her teacher Don Ray – investigative journalist in USA.

“Don Ray was our trainer in International Centre of Journalism in 2007. He was always teaching us “Don’t embrace obstacles” says Alibayli.  According to her it is more interesting and something like as psychological when you are talking with people about their problems and their life.

 

            Alibayli won a prize from Media Right Institution in 2006 for the story “Give us information”, about getting information from officials. She also received a prize for “Dogru Dogusha Dogru” (Towards to the Right Birth) in 2007 for a story about Maternity Welfare Clinics.

“I’m also thinking of prize Pulitzer” – Alibayli says.