TBILISI, Georgia — (07-10-23) — A right wing mob stormed the Tbilisi PRIDE Festival last weekend. Hundreds of anti-LGBTQ rights activist swarmed the festival in the capital, vandalizing the stage, setting fires and looting the event’s bars.

Deputy Georgian Interior Minister Aleksandre Darakhvelidze said participants in the Tbilisi Pride Fest were safely evacuated from the area. Festival organizers called on people not to come to the lakeside park where the event was to be held.

Georgian news media reported that over 5,000 people marched toward the PRIDE event, many waving Georgian flags and carrying religious icons.

Animosity toward sexual minorities is strong in Georgia, which is predominantly Orthodox Christian, and some previous LGBT events have met violent disruptions.

Darakhvelidze said police tried to obstruct the protesters but could not hold all of them back.

But the event organizers criticized police as ineffectual against the anti-LGBTQ protesters…“The police did not block the access road to the festival site in order to prevent an aggressive group. The police did not use proportional force against the attackers.”

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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