First, they came for… someone!

“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

This is the story of how a pastor Martin Niemoller,  Hitler’s ex-supporter was left alone in front of the destructive power of the Fuhrer, just because he has not opposed injustice earlier, at the right time, due to the personal careerist or non-careerist interests. He didn’t meddle in!

Almost twenty years ago over 300,000 people were forced to leave their homes (In Abkhazian region) and escape, well, anywhere, on the another part of Georgia. During this difficult journey in brutal winter climate through the mountains, many of them became victims of other Georgians (thugs), who hoped to “benefit” from the IDP’s “wealth”. Other IDPs either froze in unbearable weather conditions or died of starvation. The rest of them, who more or less managed to escape numerous obstacles and miraculously survived, were scattered throughout Georgia, settling in old buildings, mostly in unbearable, inhuman conditions. During the twenty years some of them managed to adopt new life conditions, they even got new jobs, began business activities. Unfortunately many IDPs were dead due to the physical and psychological traumas provoked by the war. For the last twenty years tens of thousand our civilians, living near us, were absolutely ignored, as if they didn’t live. Their trouble was NOT considered as ours, as well. We were ready to held tens of drinking parties, to drink those hypocritical toasts about our “beautiful country and people”, and it never occurred to us to ask how were they doing and if they had the ability to buy a bread.

After the twenty years, notwithstanding the fact that authorities aimlessly spent billions of bucks, those people are still homeless and get only 28 Lari ($15) per month, as a subsidy. Neither society nor authorities want to think about it seriously. Let’s tell even more: after the twenty years those authorities took IDPs, literally PUT them into the TRUCK MACHINES and banished them in one of the most lifeless “village” in Georgia (with NO hospital service, NO state institutions, NO kindergarten, NO police etc etc.). They took several government-controlled TVs, recorded one, as if, “satisfied” old woman and now people say that IDPs live happy life.

We live in the country, where the saying “someone’s plague, not my trouble” is nearly the most popular wallpaper for the desktops.  For the last four months IDPs have been protesting the inhuman living conditions in the yard of the Ministry of IDPs, Accommodation and Refugees, living in the tents, mostly starving and fully frozen by the cold winter weather. In the age of  internet and advanced mass communication tools It took exactly four months – for us – young people, to get the information about these protests. Well, this definitely IS a shame, but I strongly believe, we can do something to change current situation, even our activism is somehow late, but I think it’s promising. Two Georgian students urgently coordinated a special support group on Facebook called “Spend a Night with IDPs in Tent”. 3-4 activists go to the tents every night, spend night with them, talking about their problems, supplying foods, water, firewood and all the things needed. At the same time they keep on blogging and informing society. The solidarity group already has over 400 followers on Facebook – that’s fantastic and can be respectively considered as the beginning of  [in the future] strong Georgian social activism and civil journalism, initiated not by NGOs, institutions or organizations, but by the free civilians theirselves.

What about me, with one of my friends I plan to go directly to this lifeless abandoned village called Potskhoetseri, where other IDPs were banished, to see with my own eyes the unfairness, which was caused… Yes, caused by MY and society’s absolute apathy to the social problems. Of course, we will supply foods, winter clothes and other things according to their needs and will make a special video/photo report from the, I’d say, “abandoned village for the abandoned people”. If not our previous apathy, maybe we could have prevented one IDP woman from committing the suicide. She burnt herself straight in front of the Ministry’s building. The reaction from the Ministry and mass-media was ZERO! We found out about this suicide only after four months and what we did was that “we were worried and strictly condemned Ministry”. Now it’s time for something more, than the verbal condemnations and worrying.

Right now, I am watching the video, recorded twenty years ago. It shows the horrible road that IDPs walked through unbearable conditions, after they were brutally forced to leave their homes. Then I think to myself: What do these people [banished 20 years ago by the enemy, and now, banished again by their own state authorities] think and how must they feel? What does our indifferent society really worry about? What is the prime news on Georgian TVs? Well, if you watch it, you will find out, that Silvio Berlusconi’s sex scandal is the hottest prime-news on Georgian TV, meanwhile they are one hundred percent ignoring IDPs’ subject.

Hence, if you truly are more concerned about human beings’ problems than Silvio’s private life, by all means WATCH this video, recorded 20 years ago (posted below). AND KEEP IN MIND, that the videos of the same content and showing almost the same people are being recorded right now, in 2011 for the “holy” video-history of our country.

UPDATE 1: The videos, showing Georgian IDPs’ way 20 years ago, was BANNED from viewing it from Georgia. Just few days after bloggers activism began. I don’t know who did that, but this can be called CENSORSHIP, this must NOT and will NOT be accepted by us!

P.S. To join the IDPs Solidarity Group, click here

If you would like to go to Potskhoetsero with us, feel free to contact me: george_kikoni@yahoo.com

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2 Responses to First, they came for… someone!

  1. გამოხმაურება: First, they came for… someone! « The Young Georgians

  2. გამოხმაურება: Tweets that mention First, they came for… someone! « სოლიტერის ბლოგი -- Topsy.com

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