Sopo Chakeureli - Georgia
Background: The widespread protests in Georgia in November 2003, known as the Rose Revolution, led to a change in government.
A: It was the first and last time when I saw Georgians that united. After that, I have not seen that Georgians’ opinions coinciding that way. The rallies were attended by various kinds of people. We treated each other differently. It was raining; people were standing under umbrellas and cellophane; they cared for us girls; they said to come under their umbrellas. There was no tension felt, and people were warm to each other.
Q: As far as I remember, there were police cordons.
A: Almost all the time, and there was no aggression toward them because we believed that they would join us; they were Georgians. And it happened so.
Q: There were so many irritated people with their problems. You too were there because your generation lacked much. I always wonder why there was no tension.
A: We were not irritated by each other. Our irritation and protest were directed against the government. We were in one and the same pot because we all were affected by that difficult period. We did not feel irritation toward the police because it affected them as well; they too went through it.
Q: Yes, but that was the corrupt police who used to stop you in the street and would take money from you.
A: Why would they? Because they did not receive normal salaries in order to sustain their families like other employed people. Everything was up to the government, and any irritation was associated with them.
Q: Were there any obstacles in realtionships? There were different people, with differing levels of education. Was it difficult to relate with them?
A: No, it was not difficult as far as we had one and the same demands and one and the same ideas, and, thus, it was not difficult.