Nino Burjanadze, former parliamentary speaker and leader of opposition Democratic Movement-United Georgia party, told an indoor rally of People's Assembly on March 15, that a peaceful revolution was needed and the Assembly was ready for that.
“We need a large number of people for one reason – to force these authorities to go peacefully, without blood. Yes, this country today, unfortunately, needs a revolution and if no other way is left, we are ready for it [revolution], of course, through peaceful means,” Burjanadze said.
“We are not going to raise our hands even against those compatriots, who committed crime, but if someone dares to raise a hand against us, they will receive a fierce response,” she said and called on police and army to “serve the country and people and not the authorities.”
“We are not alone in this struggle and the entire world will stand beside us in the struggle for justice like it stood beside the Egyptian and Tunisian peoples,” she said.
Burjanadze was speaking at an indoor rally in Tbilisi at the basketball arena packed with activists from People's Assembly.
The People's Assembly is a movement launched last year by opposition-minded, public figures, probably the most prominent of them Nona Gaprindashvili, who was women’s world chess champion from 1962 to 1978.
Nino Burjanadze has long been a strongest backer of the movement among politicians and the movement became largely associated with Burjanadze's political platform.
During a rally outside the Parliament in November 2010, the People's Assembly announced about start of setting up "resistance committees” throughout the country “to prepare for civil disobedience campaign.”
it was announced at the rally on March 15 that such committees had been established in recent months in "almost each and every town and village" in the country and the People's Assembly was ready to act.
Nona Gaprindashvili, the chairperson of People’s Assembly, announced at the rally that the movement was starting "a round-the-clock working regime", getting ready for “a decisive, final stage of struggle.”
She said that this "final stage" would start after Bright Week - a week following the Orthodox Easter, which this year is marked on April 24.
Gaprindashvili said, that by that time, beginning of May, the People's Assembly "will announce a concrete action plan and the entire Georgia should be ready for this day."
"We will fight to the end unless we set Georgia free from this criminal regime,” she said.
The People's Assembly also announced about the readiness "to cooperate with "everyone who genuinely aspires setting Georgia free from this regime and who will not make a deal with the authorities."
Most of the opposition parties have distanced themselves from the People's Movement, not least because of the movement's association with Nino Burjanadze.