Upwards of 10,000 protesters attempted to storm Georgia’s parliament building on June 20. The crowd swarmed the building during what at first glance appeared to an anti-government rally. They demanded the resignations of top officials, allegedly in response to a speech made by a member of the Russian Duma. It now continues on a daily basis, however, with less violence.
As reported by Georgian and Western news sources, “tensions flared up when Sergei Gavrilov, a Russian MP, addressed an assembly of lawmakers from Orthodox Christian countries from the physical seat of the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament.”
Gavrilov was taking part in the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), a meeting of a body set up by the Greek parliament in 1993 to foster relationships between Orthodox Christian lawmakers. From a political standpoint, it will never be a good idea to allow a Russian MP to sit in the Speaker’s chair, in Georgia or any other country which fought long and hard to escape Russian domination through the Soviet Union. However it would also be ridiculous for either Georgia or Russia not to be part of the IAO, given their credentials and shared values as Orthodox countries.
One thing is certain in any such mass protest – few, if any of them, are spontaneous protests by ordinary citizens. Careful planning goes into any attempted coup or regime change—and that usually comes from the West. This has especially been the case in Georgia, dating back to the so-called Rose Revolution of 2003, and even earlier, to the free fire zone days of the early 90s.
Now Georgia is again in the news, not only over how the weaponisation of gay pride is part of a larger programme of CIA destabilisation. Little of what is happening now in Georgia has anything to do with the country’s less than pristine record on human rights, or efforts to regain territorial integrity. Still less does it have to do with the present Georgian government, which is the most benign the country has seen, and unlike previous ones is genuinely attempting to introduce the Western values the population actually want, such as democratic pluralism, rule of law and transparency.
Keep in mind that what happens in Georgia doesn’t stay in Georgia,