Georgian opposition to start large-scale protest on February 24
Opposition protest on Feb 24
A mass opposition rally in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi is scheduled for February 24.
The goal of the protest on February 24 is to express solidarity with the Ukrainian people on the anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine, to protest the anti-Western policy of the Georgian government and to demonstrate the commitment of the citizens of Georgia to joining Europe.
Georgians are outraged by a draft law for a register of “agents of foreign influence”, which was submitted to parliament by the ruling party’s satellite movement, People’s Power. The ruling party has already announced that it will support the law. The opposition and the civil sector call this legislative initiative “analogous to the Russian law” and say it will alienate the country from its European future.
The February 24 rally does not have one definite organizer. Among those behind it are the opposition parties “Droa”, “Girchi” and “Strategy Agmashenebeli”.
NGOs and civil society, journalists, cultural and art workers, and citizens also express their readiness to come to the rally. Ukrainian citizens in Georgia are also expected to participate.
According to the leaders of the opposition parties, permanent demonstrations will begin on February 24.
“Today we announce the beginning of the national liberation movement. Georgia will be liberated from collaborationism, the government will be returned to the people. Let’s start with an action of solidarity with Ukraine. Our actions will be a demonstration of the unity of the Georgian people,” military analyst Colonel Akiya Barbakadze said at a briefing.
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“Today is not the time for illusions — the reality is that we are losing our country, and Russia is to blame. Relations with Russia are relations with darkness… If we don’t raise our voice today, we will be eternally disgraced,” artist Gia Bugadze declared.
The leader of the Droa party and one of the organizers of the action, Elene Khoshtaria:
“Georgia has a say in this watershed moment between the Russia of the past and the Europe of the future. At a critical moment, at a turning point, we stand together and say – Georgia has a European future.”
“What should start here on February 24 is the erasure of a shameful page in the history of Georgia. It requires unity. We are starting to fight to get out of this trap,” Zurab Japaridze, leader of the Girchi – More Freedom movement, maintained.
Among those who came to the briefing were doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili, former Georgian Ambassador to Denmark Gigi Gigiadze, culturologist Tsira Elisashvili, former Foreign Ministry official Iveri Melashvili, theologian Lela Dzhedzhelava, Malkhaz Machalikashvili, father of Temirlan Machalikashvili who was killed in a special operation in the Pankisi Gorge, and journalist Irakli Tabliashvili