Monitoring results of the demonstration held in front of the State Chancellery building on July 25, 2019
On July 25, 2019, DRI representatives observed the demonstration organized by the members of the far-right movement in front of the State Chancellery building. The territorial dispute between Georgia and Azerbaijan concerning Davit Gareji region was named as the reason for the demonstration.

On July 23, one of the leaders of far-right extremist group – Guram Phalavandishvili announced the demonstration on his personal Facebook page and called upon Georgians to participate in the protection of holy Gareji.

At the demonstration, Guram Phalavandishvili called upon other participants to distrust the government and he presented a letter in which, he demanded to let one authoritative representative from their group to participate in the discussion with Azerbaijan about Davit Gareji. As he stated, the mentioned person would provide far-right groups with complete information about the crises and achievements concerning dialogue with Azerbaijan's side about Davit Gareji matters.

Furthermore, as it was explicitly stated at the demonstration, far-right forces are dissatisfied with the relationship between Georgia and Azerbaijan. According to their opinion, only Georgia is interested in keeping their relationship good-neighbourly. However, if the Azerbaijani side doesn’t compromise accordingly, Georgia has another neighbour, who can have a positive impact on the country’s economy and provide it with the natural resources. Anti-American statements were also made at the demonstration, calling Georgian Government ,,the hostage of one of the departments of the USA.’’

The demonstration was filled with statements that Davit Gareji is Georgia and Georgians would never trade with the holy land. Guram Phalavandishvili tried to register his letter at the chancellery of the Government of Georgia but was unable to do so as the working hours were completed. After that, the activists started to march with flags, chanting that they would never give up on Davit Gareji. The final destination of the march was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, where the participants once more called upon the government to be more rigid on the matter of Davit Gareji and gave the government one week to comply with their demands to let their representative participate in the negotiations on Davit Gareji issue. Otherwise, Guram Phalavandishvili announced a bigger demonstration on the 1st of August at the same location.

Some 70 people participated in the demonstration.

As the monitors of the ,,Democracy Research Institute’’ (DRI) observed, no instances of violence and hate speech were recorded at the demonstration. The patrol police department was mobilized at the location. The demonstration was peaceful, without any violence or incitement to such actions.

The monitoring was possible with the financial support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in the framework of the project "Understanding and Combating Far-Right Extremism and Ultra-Nationalism in Georgia”.