09TBILISI747, GEORGIA: PROTESTS CONTINUE THOUGH CROWD PALTRY

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI747.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI747 2009-04-16 12:26 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #0747/01 1061226
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161226Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTAE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1399
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000747 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/25/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PROTESTS CONTINUE THOUGH CROWD PALTRY 
 
REF: TBILISI 735 
 
TBILISI 00000747  001.3 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (SBU)  Summary:  The protests waned further on Wednesday, 
April 15 with only an estimated 1500-2000 protesters in front 
of Parliament.  A small number of protesters (20-30) remained 
at the Presidential Residence.  Approximately 30-40 
protesters gathered at the Public Broadcasters building but 
the cages (simulated jail cells) which had previously closed 
the street were moved to the side of the road, allowing 
traffic to move freely.  A group of 300-400 protesters left 
Parliament at 5 pm intending to block access to the State 
Chancellery.  At 5 pm it began to rain and most of the crowd 
dispersed.  At 6 pm, Embassy Observers estimated 500 
protesters in total at all sites.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  While non-parliamentary opposition leaders 
vow to continue, they struggled to get 2000 protesters into 
the street in front of Parliament on Wednesday.  Speakers 
looked visibly demoralized and their tactics remain as 
confused as ever.  Forecasts for rain and Orthodox Holy Week 
holidays are sure to further limit the number of protesters 
over the next few days.  While it is too early to predict the 
impending end of the protests as a number of 
non-parliamentary leaders say they are determined to continue 
indefinitely, it seems clear to virtually all that protests 
are losing momentum.  End Comment. 
 
Protest Numbers Minimal - MOIA Calm 
 
3.  (C)  Observers put Wednesday's crowd between 1500-2000, 
which reached its peak at roughly 4:30 pm.  A portion of the 
crowd (300-400) moved to block the State Chancery building at 
about 5 pm.  A small number of protesters remained overnight 
at the Presidential Residence (20-30) in the 10-12 tents that 
have been set up there.  Four cages were also placed in front 
of the Presidential Residence.  Eight cages (simulated jails) 
remained at the Public Broadcasters building but had been 
moved to the side in order to allow free traffic flow.  A 
small number of protesters (30-40) were there, mostly inside 
the cages.  Rain began at about 5 pm and considerably 
diminished the crowd to the point where Embassy observers put 
the numbers of protesters at approximately 500 at all sites. 
The protesters were mostly middle aged males.  MOIA 
representatives told Poloff that they expected no violence 
and believed the protests were losing momentum.  MOIA 
representatives suspected the decision to block only the 
Chancellery was a pragmatic one because of its close 
proximity to Parliament and the limited amount of protesters 
available rather than any shift in strategic thinking.  Some 
leaders have indicated that protests will continue through 
Orthodox Holy Week though others have said there will be no 
protests during the holidays.  (Embassy Comment:  We believe 
the non-parliamentary opposition has no overall strategy to 
handle protests if any during Holy Week and the widely 
inconsistent comments given about this represent the lack of 
consensus.  End Comment.) 
 
Speakers Dour - Though Rhetoric Still Harsh 
 
4.  (C)  The stage was only about half-full (compared to 
previous days) of opposition leaders on Wednesday and 
virtually all the speakers appeared dour in spite of their 
rhetoric.  Salome Zourabichvili, who on April 11 had urged 
the crowd to block the Marriott so that GoG officials would 
be unable to speak to the press, said that "dialogue is the 
language of the devil."  Levan Gachechiladze raised a few 
Qlanguage of the devil."  Levan Gachechiladze raised a few 
eyebrows when he declared that Saakashvili was personally 
responsible for the global economic crisis.  Koba 
Davitashvili declared that "they" would stay indefinitely in 
front of Parliament, the Presidential Residence, Public 
Broadcasters building, and the State Chancellery in tents and 
makeshift cells.  Davitashvili later clarified that neither 
he nor any other of the non-parliamentary opposition leaders 
would actually be staying in the tents or cages, but the tent 
and cages would serve as symbolic continual presence. 
 
Attacks Alleged 
 
5.  (C)  A number of individuals have alleged they were 
targeted and attacked due to their political views.  The 
Ambassador has inquired into every reported case thus far 
with MOIA, which is responsible for investigating the 
incidents.  The Public Defender's Office has spoken to a 
number of the alleged victims and remains in contact with the 
MOIA concerning the cases.  The Public Defender's Office told 
us on April 15 that it does not believe that the attacks are 
being conducted by the police (septel).  (Embassy Comment: 
Details in each case are still unclear and Post will continue 
to follow up on each case.  Post does not rule out that 
 
TBILISI 00000747  002 OF 002 
 
 
alleged victims may have been targeted by certain UNM 
supporters, though many cases may be the result of increased 
criminal activity in Tbilisi.  End Comment.) 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: