A wave of social protest
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, December 6The October 1 election results have been legalized and the new government has begun functioning. However, the country has been mired in a powerful protest wave as of late. They started strikes, some in the radical form of hunger strikes, IDPs and people without shelter began occupying various abandoned buildings; miners in Chiatura and Tkibuli went on strike as did workers in Poti Port and bus drivers in Tbilisi, all of which almost paralyzed the functioning of the entire country.
People felt secured that the new administration would not use excessive force against the protesters.
Before the elections, people were suppressed to express their social protest and only risky political opponents dared to organize loud protest rallies. However, they were always under the threat of the Rose administration's suppression machine using brutal force to disperse the protests. Blocking streets, picketing buildings, organizing public rallies with socially oriented slogans were practically impossible. The arrival of the Georgian Dream coalition changed the situation and in particular it became real after the results of the elections which manifested the victory of the new political force in Georgia. The Georgian population felt different winds in the country; the winds of democracy, rule of law, equal rights for everybody and other democratic changes.
Some analysts suggested that these actions – protests, rallies, strikes, and so on, were provoked and inspired by the former Rose administration. Cases were detected when the employees of the former UNM administration gave addresses to the homeless people (IDPs) telling them that those buildings are vacant and directing them to those buildings.
Even if this was the case, targeted at discrediting the new government, the attempt failed because in most cases the protesters stated that all their problems were coming from the previous administration and the new leadership of the country just gives the possibility to express discontent, anger, and protest.
Everybody understands that the new administration has a very short timeframe. It could not solve all the problems in just the wink of an eye. There are too many problems that have accumulated by the former administration.
Besides, these protest rallies were a kind of a test for the new administration. It was interesting how these people would be treated by the new leading force. One thing has already become visible: the new ruling party and its leader Bidzina Ivanishvili do not hide problems from the population, they honestly admit that many problems exist in the country and try not to give empty promises, but rather give people a realistic picture explaining the real situation and outlining the plans for the future.