On that day, the authorities used troops to break up a peaceful demonstration demanding the republic's secession from the USSR. As a result, 16 people were killed, over 200 wounded and nearly 500 gas poisoned in the ensuing clashes. Later, the independent Georgia proclaimed the date of April 9 as the Day of National Unity, Civil Accord and Remembrance.
The demonstrators used an overhead projector to display photographs of the April 9, 1989 events as well as the images of those killed by the troops.
The protesters, totaling about 20 in number, were holding candles and placards demanding withdrawal of the Russian military bases from Georgia and Russian peacekeepers from Abkhazia.
With due regard to the peaceful manner of the protest rally, one cannot help wondering at the political ignorance of the young Georgians who, in all likelihood, sincerely believed that once the new independent Russia is a legal successor of the former Soviet Union it must be held responsible for the crimes committed by the now defunct Communist regime.