The shocking images of a woman who has faced alone this Wednesday a police water cannon in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, waving the flag of the European Union, have become the great portrait of the demonstrations of Georgians against a bill that, according to its detractors, would have curtailed the freedom of parties and the media and hampered their aspirations to join NATO and the European Union.
Thousands of Georgians have taken to the streets against the approval of this law inspired by Russian legislation (which is why it is colloquially called ‘Russian law’) and thanks to the protests have managed to stop it. It was intended to oblige any company or civil organization that receives more than 20% of its financing from outside the country to register as a ‘foreign agent’. An unacceptable law in the eyes of the European Union.
The woman fighting the cannon, reminiscent of Delacroix’s painting Liberty guiding the people of the Louvre Museum in Paris, has become a symbol of resistance within protests that have multiplied in recent days against the aforementioned bill, withdrawn in the face of protests after being initially presented by legislators from the ruling party Sueño Georgian.
The delegation of the European Union in Georgia has welcomed the announcement on Thursday of the withdrawal of the bill, which would have required media outlets and non-governmental organizations that receive more than 20% of their funding from foreign sources to register as “agents of foreign influence.”
His detractors have pointed out that he was inspired on a similar law in Russiaused by the authorities of that country to silence critics, and which could hinder Georgia’s aspirations to join NATO and the European Union.
Two members of the European Parliament Those in charge of the agency’s relations with Georgia, Maria Kaljurand and Sven Mikser, have indicated that the protesters’ concern was well founded. In his opinion, “the initiative goes directly against the declared ambition of the Georgian authorities to receive the status of candidate for accession to the EU.”