Discover more from Rachel Blevins
Thousands Protest in Georgia to Protect Secrecy of Western-Backed NGO’s
Thousands protested in Georgia... not because their personal freedom or crucial industries were threatened... but because a proposed US-style 'Foreign Agents' law was set to reveal how much money the West spends on media and NGO’s aimed at influencing public opinion in the country.
The nation of Georgia saw thousands of people take to the streets in protests that kicked off last week… in response to proposed legislation that was considered by their parliament.
Now, you may be thinking… was it a bill that restricted their personal freedoms in some way? Was their government enacting new restrictions that threatened their industries, and were the people finally taking to the streets to make their voices heard, similar to the tens of thousands of Dutch farmers who took to The Hague to protest this weekend?
Well, the short answer is No... The demonstrations in Georgia were held in protest of a proposed “Foreign Agents” law that would require media and NGO’s receiving more than 20% of their funding from foreign sources to register as “foreign agents.”
The law was notably modeled after the Foreign Acts Registration Act, which has existed in the U.S. since 1938. In recent years, the Department of Justice has used that law to go after outlets like RT, CGTN and Al-Jazeera – demanding registration for the US-based versions of their networks.
But you would never know that in this case – because everyone and their mother in the mainstream media was quick to call Georgia’s “foreign agents” proposal a “Russian-style” law.
Yet it was never really about the law—and that was made clear, as the protests continued, even after the Georgian Parliament voted to withdraw the proposed law and went on to release the demonstrators they detained after protesters stormed the parliament building, with some even saying they had no plans to stop until the government resigned.
Oh, and the clear presence of Ukrainian flags and signs that say “We are Europe” in the crowd were no coincidence whatsoever, as some journalists on the ground noted the incredibly coordinated nature of the movement.
See, Georgia has a similar story to Ukraine, in the sense that both countries were members of the former Soviet Union, and since becoming independent states in 1991, both have found themselves torn between the history they share with Russia, and the attention they have received from the U.S. and the EU. That includes, of course, the promise of membership in both the European Union and… the NATO alliance.
But, again, NATO is a purely defensive alliance, and their rapid eastward expansion right up to Russia’s border should not be seen as a threat to Russia…
So, it makes it all the more notable then, that so many people are taking to the streets in such coordinated protests, when the proposed law could reveal just how much money the US and the EU are pouring into media and NGO’s in Georgia. And that money is coming from all of the usual suspects…
For example, the U.S. Agency for International Development notes on its website that it began operating in Georgia in 1992—just one year after it became an independent country. It has since provided over $1.8 BILLION in funding – spending an average of $40 MILLION per year on programs that “support Georgia’s democratic, free-market, Western orientation.”
Right on cue, noted war criminal and US AID Chief Samantha Power voiced her criticism of the proposed “foreign agent” law on Twitter, claiming it was a threat to “Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic future and the ability of Georgians to fulfill their own economic, social, and other aspirations.”
The CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy has also sent millions in funding to NGO’s in Georgia over the years – and if you thought the U.S. footprint stopped there, then I guess it’s no coincidence that then a U.S. official from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs was in the country as the protests kicked off—and he knew just what to say about the proposed law.
"This is a law based on Russia’s interests, not Georgia’s interests. We think its in Georgia’s interest to work more closely towards its Euro-Atlantic integration. This law does not do that," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Todd Robinson said in Tbilisi.
Many have wondered whether the protests in Georgia could be the beginning of the next Euro-Maidan, as the protests that kicked off in Ukraine in late 2013 also claimed to be started over fears that the nation’s government was getting too close to Russia – thus they were seen by the West as harming ties with the West.
But we have to remember that it was the US and the EU that were the ones voicing their disapproval of the proposed “foreign agents” law, long before the people of Georgia ever were…
“We are deeply concerned about its implications for freedom of speech and democracy in Georgia. We’ve expressed those deep concerns directly to our interlocutors in the Government of Georgia. The proposed law would stigmatize and silence independent voices and citizens of Georgia who are dedicated to building a better future for their own communities. We believe such a law could potentially undermine Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on February 15.
One member of the European Parliament even warned that Georgia would be at risk of losing EU support, saying it was already far behind Moldova and Ukraine.
See, if these protests remind us of anything, it’s that this proposal got to the heart of what the West uses in every single government overthrow they support: propaganda. Millions if not billions of Dollars funnels through NGO’s aimed at convincing the people to support [insert movement here]. Endless funding for media outlets to show those protests on the ground in a way that convinces the rest of the Western world that this is what the people want.
The idea that they would be forced to be honest about just how much money they are spending to influence public opinion in a country that borders Russia was seen as too much of a threat because it could allow the public to see the one thing Western Governments don’t want them to see, the truth—and that’s something everyone should be talking about.