A relatively small band of drug-decriminalization activists in Georgia is changing the way advocacy campaigns are conducted in the country. They have drawn rapid and widespread attention to their cause by relying more on actions than words.
Innovation begins with a name. Although the group seeks to decriminalize drug use in Georgia, it has branded itself as the White Noise Movement, a catchy phrase that can appeal to broad segments of society that feel either ignored or trodden upon by authorities.
“White noise is when a TV [broadcasts] static, it’s a rather unpleasant noise. We, the victims of violent and unjust policies, come together to generate unpleasant noise, signaling the country has to change to stop this noise,” said Paata Sabelashvili, one of the movement’s leaders.
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Inge Snip writes about (social) innovation, startups, and grassroots movements. She believes people can inspire with their actions, and their stories need to be heard. She hails from the Netherlands, but has lived in Tbilisi on and off since 2007.