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Solidarity To Dighomi Forest Protest

The Dighomi forest - which’s territory just a few decades ago covered 75 hectares when for today it has been shrunk to 20.5 hectares - is located in Tbilisi, Georgia and it is the only forest-park in the city, apparently lungs of Tbilisi. This is where the company “Anagi” wants to build a huge luxurious restaurant. The whole summer Georgian Young Greens, the initiative group “Save Dighomi Forest”, informal group “Vin’me” are fighting against this construction together with local people who live in the same district.

 

The land has been privatised and it is now owned by more than 50 people despite the forest is in the recreational-landscape zone. The place where a huge restaurant (more than 4000 m2) is planned to be built, was also a part of that zone, but its status was changed in 2009 when an auto-salon was erected. According to the status of Tbilisi City Assembly’s 2006 resolution, by which the whole territory of the Digomi Forest Part was declared a Special Green Zone and therefore, ineligible for any new construction. Because of this, the demand of the protest also includes to remove illegally built auto-salon and bring this territory back to the forest.

 

Despite the protest, mayor of Tbilisi is lobbying this construction like it is his own, shooting selfie videos and telling lies to legitimate the project, also he doesn’t negotiate to activists and local people as he promised. Moreover, as an answer to the protest a few weeks ago the company brought cranes and heavy machinery in the forest so the protest reached the most decisive phase.

 

The defenders of the forest aren’t going to give up this fight and they will do anything they can; in 7 September, they are planning protest action in the forest in order to prevent and protect the forest from construction. The day before, they are starting to occupy the territory with tents.

 

The main aim of this action is to protect the already shrunk areas of public and green zones in Tbilisi. The goal of the protest is also to develop the discourse that public properties should not be privatised, a small number of rich people should not own our spaces and act according to their banking interests. The organisers of the protest strongly believe that maintaining such zones in Tbilisi will ensure the protection of the ecological and social functions of the forest.

 

Federation of Young European Greens are in solidarity with this protest and asks the mayor of Tbilisi and Tbilisi City Hall to make decision according needs of the society and ensure democratic process.