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Opposition flees to forest2011-06-16 21:27
Sakartvelo parliament has been given a legislative initiative to completely ban massive demonstrations. Like in any democratic countries, people dissatisfied with the policies of the government have the right to go out on the street. Now the number of limitations is so great that protest rallies lose any sense. The government seeks more security in case of new massive unrest. It looks like the only place for Georgian citizens to protest will be a remote forest. All other possibilities are denied.
The draft law "On introduction of amendments to the law "On assembly and manifestations" has been submitted to the parliament. It seems the deputies are so sick and tired of seeing crowds of yelling people under their windows. They simply want to fence off. As soon as the document is adopted - and there is no doubt about that - people with tents picketing the entrance to the building will be deemed outside the law.
The main novelty the parliament proposes is limitation of demonstrations in front of public office buildings. If an oppositionist approaches the entrance of the parliament (or buildings of courts, prosecutor's offices or police) closer than 20 m, he/she will be immediately arrested. It is also unadvisable to gather near penitentiary facilities and military units. Organizers of a demonstration will fail if they decide to meet at a railway station or (god forbid!) near an airport.
Crossing the 20-m line they will be subject to trial and sent to prison.
It is clear why the parliament has worked out this limitation. Deputies don't want to come to their place of work and leave it through safe exits. Yet, in reality they have to face a crowd of resentful people almost every day. As a rule, it's always a problem for deputies to get to work easily. They can be insulted or offended. After all deputies are human beings: aggressive masses depress them. When the law draft is accepted, the problem will be naturally solved. Angry bunches of people will be near - but at least not at the entrance. Thus, people in power will have their corridor to leave the building during protest actions.