The messenger logo

Guerrilla gardening protests against hotel construction in Vake Park

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, December 29
Guerrilla Gardeners held a rally in central Vake Park on December 27. They demanded the cessation of construction of the Hotel Budapest in one of the major parks located in the heart of Tbilisi.

According to Nata Peradze, a member of Guerrilla Gardeners, construction - which was on hold for some time - would be renewed from 2016.

“We are giving a period of one month to the Mayor’s Office of Tbilisi to find another place for the investor company and stop construction in the recreational zone. If not, the scale of our rallies will grow,” stated Peradze.

Environmental activists consider it illegal to construct a building in a recreational zone.

Protesters claim that this construction will destroy the recreation zone that Vake Park represents, a park that every weekend is teeming with joggers, families and others seeking a quiet place to relax.

Guerrilla Gardeners categorically demand that the Prosecutors Office launch an investigation into the legality of the case.

According to them, permission was granted to the constructor company during the governance of former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava, and was illegal.

“The case must be investigated and everyone who is guilty must be punished,” they stated.

However, according to a representative of the United National Movement (UNM) in City Hall, Sevdia Ugrekhelidze, the area where the hotel will be located does not belong to Vake Park and has been privately owned since the 1990s.

Guerrilla Gardeners also call on society to unite against the illegal construction and defend one of the few recreation zones left in the capital city.