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Guerrilla Gardening Protest Tree Cutting in Tbilisi

Tbilisi, April 28th — Local green movement Guerrilla Gardening gathered outside of the former City Hall building on the Freedom Square to protest yesterday’s act of a construction company Archi Group cutting twelve trees on 13, Tamarashvili Street.

According to the movement, the cutting was sanctioned by Tbilisi’s Mayor’s Office, which aggravated the protesters’ dissatisfaction even more.

The Head of Tbilisi City Hall’s ecology and municipal service, Bidzina Giorgobiani denied this information during his yesterday’s verbal clash with the Tbilisi City Council member Alexander Elisashvili. Giorgobiani insisted the cutting had been suspended, while Elisashvili ridiculed his statement pointing at the on-going construction at Tamarashvili Street. 

Tamarashvili Construction
Construction at Tamarashvili Street. Photo: Guerrilla Gardening

Today, the Guerrilla Gardeners took it to the Freedom Square with their DIY-designed drums and bells, making a lively samba-like performance in front of the City Council. The movement was collecting citizens’ signatures protesting the Mayor’s Office actions.

Guerrilla Gardening movement

“They did not let us attend today’s meeting at the City Council. We were not issued passes to sit in and listen to the discussed topics, which used to be a possibility prior to yesterday’s incident at Tamarashvili,” one of the Guerrilla Gardeners Ani Kavtaradze told CBW. “Our objective is to get the City Hall to stop careless tree-cutting. We care about local flora and fauna,” Tinatin Chavchanidze, one of the organizers of the demonstration  concerned about the city’s municipal animal shelters commented, saying that animal rights and environmental issues are deeply intertwined.

No official statement regarding the demonstration was made by the City Hall, but the local publication commersant.ge reported Bidzina Giorgobiani is due to be elected as the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, taking the post of Elguja Khokrishvili who filed resignation today, citing family circumstances.

By Nino Gojiashvili