On May 25, just ahead of the 103rd anniversary of the First Georgian Republic’s (1918–1921) independence, Georgian protesters paralyzed the streets of the capital city of Tbilisi in the largest rally to date against the Namakhvani Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) project (Civil.ge, May 25, 26). Relatively small demonstrations against the planned dam, by locals organized under the banner “Guardians of the Rioni Valley,” began years ago around the construction site on the Rioni River in western Georgia. These rallies gradually expanded in number and participation, eventually reaching a nation-wide character by January 2021. On May 23, the demonstrations shifted to Tbilisi, where Rioni inhabitants were joined in solidarity by striking workers from other regions of Georgia (Facebook.com/rioniskheobisgadarchenistvis, May 23). These protests stretched on for three consecutive days before a decision was made to return to the Rioni…

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