National Forum Marches
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 28
This march is the launch of a movement that the ruling powers are frightened of – the leader of the National Forum, Gubaz Sanikidze, told The Messenger. The so-called March of the Georgians on September 27 was a way of underlining that the current direction of the country will end in catastrophe and is equal to committing suicide.
“It is symbolic that hundreds of Georgians protest, this is a sign that Georgians will never adopt the way of 'Singaporeization.' You can take this march as political, national - the expression of different aspirations,“ Sanikidze said adding that several years ago, such movements practically covered the whole of Georgia. “This day is the starting point of similar actions. All these people gathered here can be taken as our co-fighters and their number will increase.”
Sanikidze also mentioned that that Georgians should do everything independently and should realize that the Caucasus region is merciless and that the weakness of Georgia would mean death. “Singaporeization, the way suggested by the current authorities is a cemetery and the march is a demonstration that we will never go this way.”
In an earlier interview with one of Georgia's printed media, Sanikidze also mentioned one more reason why Georgian people should be more active and why Saakashvili must leave his post: “Do you know what is going on in the state? Very soon no one will remember the National Forum, National Movement, New Rights, Alasania or Dzidziguri, as Vladimir Putin is coming back in Russia and Georgia will be under serious pressure from Russia from the spring.“ Sanikidze believes that all political parties must put serious pressure on the current authorities in the autumn period to make them leave as in spring the situation will worsen.
However, it seems the opposition is still not ready to act in common, as only several opposition representatives decided to take part in the march, mainly from Our Georgia-Free Democrats, Whites Movement and from the Representative Public Assembly, “I am here to fix my Party’s attitude, to stand where the Georgian people stands,“ Gia Kobakhidze, from Democratic Movement-United Georgia, said
As for the attitude of those opposition parties which are united with National Forum in the so-called Opposition Six political grouping, they have made practically the same statements regarding the current authorities and their political decisions, however they are not demonstrating with Sanikidze. “The only way to restore Georgian –Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian relations is to removed the current leadership,“ a statement of the National Council reads. As for the main reasons named for why other parties refused to participate in the march this mainly concerned the fact that the National Forum did not warn them beforehand and that it was the wish of the Forum to test its own abilities.
The attitude of the current authorities concerning such demonstrations have been very frequently voiced. According to the government, those parties which are trying to hold street rallies and pressure the authorities will get nothing. The authorities are not afraid of such demonstrations then, as they think that the majority of the Georgian people do not support such actions or the opposition in general.
Analyst Gia Khukhashvili did not share the National Forum’s optimism regarding the launch of a serious national movement in the country, “our politicians did not stop the tradition of setting higher barriers than they will be able to jump over. Such statements from the National Forum’s side will have no backing and such actions and statements reflect negatively, as when they are not fulfilled, it imposes disappointment and loss of trust in society,“ the analyst said and mentioned that a lot of things regarding the march was unclear to him. “It was unclear why they coincided with the fall of Abkhazia and why the final destination of the march was the trinity cathedral and not the president’s residence, which would be more logical, and why they involved the church in the political process, what they demanded and so on.”