Tbillisi, capital of the impoverished nation Georgia, was the first battleground for the latest outbreak of the Jasmine Revolution. Several thousand revolutionaries converged on the city over the last three days, publicly battling law enforcement in a series of street battles. Tear gas and rubber bullets dispersed revolutionaries after prolonged protests that paralyzed the cities major roads. During the engagements both protesters and policemen were injured badly enough to be hospitalized. A police cruiser was surrounded and damaged beyond repair by an angry mob; the unfortunate police officer was able to escape. Locals call it the Second Rose Revolution, naming it after a successful revolution in November, 2003.
What is Next For the Revolutionaries?
A “Day of Rage” has been scheduled for May 25 by exiled opposition leader Irakli Okruashvili. For the last four years he has been living in exile in France; he promises to return to his native country, which has a standing arrest warrant on him, on Wednesday to personally help the revolution take seed and flourish. President Mikhael Saakashvili has survived and retained his authority in several similar uprisings over the past decade.
How Does This Impact the Region?
Neighbors Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan are dreading the outbreak of rebellion on their doorstep while local superpower Russia is prodding the nation, looking for an opportunity to maneuver its own politicians into power. Revolutions in Georgia have partially destabilized the region; influxes of arms and widespread casualties trigger weak regional security and mutual distrust. Citizens of the smaller nations are also greatly concerned about the potential for Russian intervention, something that is nearly unthinkable. In 2008, Russia annexed Georgia for several weeks after Georgia shot down a Russian jet. Nobody likes tyrants, but they would favor them over the totalitarianism of the Russians that they subjected to until the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Why Is There A Revolution Now?
Enraged civilians have endured nearly over three decades of troubled government run by illegitimate presidents and under the fear of the Russians. The crucible of high employment, low standards of living and, above all, slashed pensions combined with existing widespread corruption have synthesized a new revolutionary force in the country. These revolutionaries call for socioeconomic equality, free elections, and righteous justice for administrators who have betrayed their country. Widespread support and secretive organizing on backwater social networking sites have created a powerful force that has the potential to succeed where past uprisings have failed.
Are There Scientific Terms to Describe this Revolutionary Behavior?
Criminologists describe the situation emerging in Georgia as rebellious deviant behavior derived from strain theory. This psychological theory predicts that when a populace replaces the current objectives of the society with modern ones that pertain to the specific needs of the populace rather than the arbitrary orders by the imposed authority. President Mikhael Saakashvili has an unpopular government that is fraught with corruption and does not meet basic humanitarian requirements. The people have forgotten his objectives and have substituted their own as they plan to establish a government with free and fair elections. This deviant behavior is a natural result of the mistreatment of the Georgians. The only surprising realization of this uprising is that this revolution has not happened already and that revolutions like it have not cropped up in nations with equally misguided governments, such as China or the United States of America. These large nation need to follow the examples set by the upstart Georgians, Tunisians, and Croatians.
Good Luck Georgians!