03 November 2006

Peaceful presence

By early afternoon Thursday, thousands of people were peacefully demonstrating against the Bakiyev regime in and around Bishkek’s central square. Negotiations in the parliament building between presidency and his opponents, who occasionally left the meeting to rally the crowds assembled outside, apparently failed to reach a settlement.

Speakers, flanked by the glare of insufficient temporary lighting, continued into the evening. The opposition movement head earlier stated it would continue to rally until its demands are met, which was evidenced by rows of tents pitched south and east of Ala-Too Square, portable toilets, and an organized meal service.

By noon Friday, speakers and singers had begun anew from a stage south of the square. Several hundreds of supporters and onlookers joined the encampment.

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