Georgians against Saakashvili regime


This is a video from Georgian protest singer Utsnobi.

From British weekly The Observer:

Georgia‘s new unrest led by protest singer …

* Matthew Collin in Tbilisi

* Sunday 29 March 2009

Georgia, which fought a disastrous war with Russia over South Ossetia last year, is bracing itself for a political showdown as the opposition tries to oust President Mikheil Saakashvili amid simmering discontent over his role in the conflict.

The opposition will take to the streets of Tbilisi to demand Saakashvili‘s resignation on 9 April – the 20th anniversary of the day when the Soviet army killed some 20 people as it crushed Georgian independence demonstrations.

In recent weeks, anti-Saakashvili posters have appeared all over the capital, while the opposition has also been boosted by a television show featuring a popular singer conducting interviews with opposition activists and local celebrities from a specially constructed “prison cell”. The protest singer Giorgi Gachechiladze – known as Utsnobi, or “The Unknown” – has said that he will remain in self-imposed incarceration until Saakashvili steps down.

Earlier this month, Utsnobi held a protest concert near the president’s residence, drawing several thousand. The 9 April demonstrations are hoped to draw far greater numbers.

The Georgian authorities have accused the opposition of accepting money from Russia to fund its anti-government campaign, although no proof has yet been offered. …

Officials have also claimed that opposition leaders are aiding Georgia’s enemies in Moscow by creating political instability and trying to overthrow the country’s pro-western government.

Several senior figures in Saakashvili’s government have defected to the opposition, accusing him of starting an unwinnable war that enabled Russia to strengthen its grip on the rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

“He lost the war and 20% of Georgian territory, hundreds of people died and tens of thousands lost their homes,” said Nino Burjanadze, who was one of the leaders of the “Rose Revolution” in 2003 that swept Saakashvili to power. “In any normal democratic country, the president would be impeached,” said Burjanadze.

The mood in Tbilisi has become increasingly tense in recent days after the authorities released covertly recorded police videos of opposition activists allegedly buying automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

But Burjanadze, whose activists were among those arrested, insisted that the authorities released the tapes to intimidate opposition supporters.

“They understand that a lot of people will come to the protests and they decided to frighten them and discredit my party and the opposition,” she said.

Burjanadze suggested that there could be a repeat of the crackdown on opposition rallies in November 2007, when similar surveillance videos of alleged coup plotters were also widely publicised.

“We are absolutely sure that what the government and the president are doing is preparing an alibi so they can justify using force against people,” she said.

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One thought on “Georgians against Saakashvili regime

  1. Pingback: Saakashvili’s Georgian cannon fodder to Afghanistan | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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