Green Fist SOS
06 February, 2014
Green Fist SOS
The insurance industry will cease to be funded by the state this year. Previously the state has provided healthcare for socially vulnerable people – the private sector stands to lose some GEL 300 million in guaranteed premiums. The yard of Tbilisi State University hosted a protest action concert organized by Mtsvane Mushti calling the public to save Sakdrisi fields.
These fields were deprived of the status of a cultural heritage and cultural zone, and currently excavation works by the private
company RMG Gold are underway there. Sakdrisi fields are the oldest caves where there were gold mining fields in ancient Georgia. It has a large cultural importance not only for Georgia but the whole world, because there is a hypothesis that Georgian gold was mined in old Mesopotamia too.
Mtsvane Mushti, “Green Fist,” is a student movement that thinks that cultural heritage and ecologic conditions should be protected. Also a movement called Food Not Bombs is another of the organizers of the action.
Musical group Kunfu Junk and DJ Sandro Kozmanashvili, both of whom are concerned with social problems, also took part.
Nikoloz Tsiskaridze, one of the members of the student movement and organizers of the action, commented to Georgian Journal about his work with Green Fist. He is a PhD student in archaeology in Florence University.
Nikoloz Tsiskaridze: “The main aim of today’s action concert is to appeal to society and to protect the monument of cultural heritage Sakdrisi. It was removed from the list of cultural heritage, but we also know that there are controversies around this subject in Ministry of Culture, and many people are for the decision to re-nominate Sakdrisi and give it the status of a monument of cultural heritage again. The minister of culture can make the decision and return this status to the monument.
Q. Did you have any kind of activities before towards Sakdrisi, and have you seen the territory after excavations of RMG Gold or spoken with them?
A. Since that day there were problems regarding Sakdrisi, we began protest actions. We have photo material proving that the upper side of Sakdrisi is demolished. But we also protest the economic politics of Georgian government that provokes such kind of activities and that is in sync with private but not social interests. We informed a wide range of society. Our aim is to increase social involvement and to inform a wider society of what kind of problems we face. We also want to say that the nihilism of some part of society, including the business sphere, influences science and it can be said there are cases when science sounds like fiction. So, economy should develop on the basic notion that it is the science that takes human rights, natural conditions, and social conditions into account.
Besik Gikashvili, one of the participants of the action concert, commented to Georgian Journal: “I have approached many organizations about this issue, as I am a citizen of this country interested and concerned about it. I have contacts with people who work on Sakdrisi and also settlements nearby, and journalists. I have much information and society wants to express its attitude and concern towards the subject. Our country is under pressure all the time and in this case we harm ourselves. German scientists also expressed their concerns over the Sakdrisi: a letter was sent to state organizations. They are interested to study the cultural heritage. Also there are other problems too: the chemicals the company is using there are dangerous for health and environment. And Kvemo Kartli is a region which provides towns, Tbilisi included, with agricultural products, and it is dangerous. And I am not sure that government will respond properly. I think Sakdrisi should be named as a cultural monument again. This can be a way out of this deadlock.”
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