Tag Archives: Georgia

The Georgian Protests: Dramatic Days, an Unexpected Outcome

by Tamara Grdzelidze | ελληνικά | Русский

Early on March 9th, the Georgian population learned that the Georgian Dream party announced the withdrawal of the draft on transparency of foreign influence. It was on March 7th that Parliament of Georgia, with a majority from the Georgian Dream party, passed the first reading of the controversial law on “foreign agents” (any organization receiving funding from abroad!). The law would limit freedom of the press and of non-governmental organizations, destabilize civil society by limiting contacts with the Western partners, and block potential for the country’s Euro-Atlantic expansion, and most importantly, safeguard the ruling party’s chance of winning elections in 2024.

Two days of protests followed, with thousands of people gathering in front of the Parliament, where police and special forces were mobilized against the demonstrators. First-day clashes ended with some people being injured and many detained; most of the protesters suffered from tear gas or the strong stream of a water cannon. Despite that, the next day more people went out, people of all ages, but the young dominated the scene. Thousands of angry citizens protested against the potential change to Euro-Atlantic choice of the nation.

Today, among those who are in opposition to the Georgian Dream, there is disagreement on the question, “How did we get here?”  

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Violence in Georgia and the Ambivalence of a Cross

by Tamara Grdzelidze | български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Русский | Română | Српски

St. Nino's Cross

In the aftermath of erecting a metal cross to replace the flag of Europe in front of Georgia’s Parliament on July 5, my intention was to write only on the ambivalence of this cross, but things took a horrifying turn.

World media and social platforms gave an ample coverage to the events that unfolded around the days of Gay Pride, especially to the developments on the last day when Pride organizers decided to avoid clashes and canceled the March of Dignity on the 5th. This decision was a result of the unprecedented aggression against journalists and media persons on the same day. They were reporting on the counter-Pride demonstration—masterminded by anti-Western, i.e. pro-Putinist Russian forces—strongly encouraged by the Orthodox Church of Georgia.[1] A young cameraman from one of the opposition TV channels, Lexo Lashqarava, severely beaten and injured, was found dead at home on the 11th. Thus, my original intention has been overshadowed by the tragedy of the loss of a human life.

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