Violent protestors force cancellation of Tbilisi Pride


Tbilisi Pride
Image: Tbilisi Pride

Up to 2,000 anti-LGBT organised protesters attacked Tbilisi Pride celebrations in Georgia yesterday. They forced the cancellation of the event and the evacuation of participants.

The violence is reminiscent of 2021 when attacks on the offices of Tbilisi Pride forced the cancellation of that year’s Pride march.

Although homosexuality is legal in Georgia, same-sex relationships remain a social taboo.

In 2019, a violent far-right mob clashed with riot police outside a screening of a film about a gay romance between two male Georgian ballet dancers.

The Russian-aligned right-wing protesters yesterday included Orthodox Christian clergy and also members of the Georgian ruling party.

Despite organisers holding Tbilisi Pride at a private festival site away from downtown Tbilisi in the hope of avoiding trouble, right-wing organisations rallied their supporters to attack the event.

Protestors burned rainbow flags

They scuffled with police, rushed the festival stage and burned rainbow flags.

Organisers said the police failed to protect festival-goers. Georgian president Salome Zurabishvili, an opponent of the ruling Georgian Dream party, noted it failed to condemn followers who openly incited aggression towards LGBTQIA+ activists.

However, the Georgian Interior Minister Alexander Darakhvelidze said police merely found it difficult to maintain control.

“This was an open area, participants of the protest managed to bypass the security and find other ways to enter the event area.

“However we managed to evacuate the participants of the Pride festival and organisers from the area, no one was harmed.”

After the evacuation of Tbilisi Pride participants, the groups who attacked them remained at the venue. They raided the bar and either damaged or stole property belonging to event organisers.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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