All these days, there were Ukrainian flags at rallies in Tbilisi, because the war in Ukraine inspired Georgians to fight against the “Russian Empire”. Georgia has “buried” the law on foreign agents, which was nicknamed the Russian law in the country. The protesters forced the parliament to meet and vote against the law in the second reading – only in this way, according to local rules, could it be removed from the agenda, TSN reports.
Even the day before, calls were heard in the crowd not to disperse until the current government resigns. Already in the morning, both deputies and protesters said: we cannot put up with such a pro-Russian parliamentary majority, but we will fix it in a year – by voting. “Together with Ukraine and Moldova, Georgia should become part of the European Union, and we will not allow anyone, no pro-Russian oligarch, to turn us away from this path. The young generation has taken an incredible step forward, Georgia is coming back,” says deputy Khatiya Dekanoidze. “We are a people similar to each other, resisting this force called orcs,” adds a man in the crowd.
Another very similar feature of this Georgian protest with the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity is that it is not led by politicians. At the attempt of the leader of one of the opposition parties to speak, the crowd roared and categorically refused to listen to him.
The plenary session did not last half an hour. The ruling party votes against its own law in the second reading in order to annul it. One of the deputies still can’t stand it and leaves a “yes” vote, but that doesn’t prevent him from “burying” the law.
The square in front of the parliament, where the protesters gather, immediately explodes with joy, but this is the joy of only the first victory in a long battle. Everyone remembers that the “Georgian dream”, which many here now call the Russian dream, is the ruling party – it still has enough votes to pass any law.
Former politician, deputy minister of defense, and now blogger and winemaker, Andro Barnovi, went to protests even during Shevarnadze’s time, went out even now, and says that Ukrainians for Georgians are now an example that Russian influence can be taken and lost. “I understand that Ukrainians may have the feeling that Georgians are not supporting them all this time. And people, believe me, it’s not because of the people. This is because of Russian puppets, because of Putin’s government. Such a sad reality, with which we have to work a lot, in order to somehow get them to leave,” says the man. What needs to be added for a better understanding of what was happening in Tbilisi these days and not only, because people from the regions had already arrived here, is a protest of a force that no one – including the protesters themselves – expected, simply indignation poured over the edge.