Published on : Modified :
The organizers of a pride march for LGBT + rights have decided to cancel the event scheduled for Monday in Tbilisi for security reasons, following clashes between homophobic groups and the police.
In the capital of Georgia, violent demonstrations got the better of the Pride March. Georgian activists organizing the event, scheduled for Monday, July 5, finally canceled the rally after clashes between homophobic groups and the police. “We cannot endanger human lives and demonstrate in streets full of violent aggressors,” the activists said on their Facebook page.
Hundreds of demonstrators opposed to this march protested Monday morning near the Parliament in Tbilisi, the capital of this Caucasian country with conservative mores. Some attacked the police and beat journalists in several places in the capital, according to images broadcast by the Mtavari TV channel. March organizers say their offices have also been targeted by “homophobes”.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili himself spoke out against holding the event. “Holding a so-called pride march is not reasonable because it creates the threat of a civil confrontation,” he said Monday at a government meeting, arguing that these marches are “unacceptable for a large part of Georgian society “.
These statements were deemed “shameful” by activists who denounced statements encouraging homophobia and the government’s inability to defend “basic human rights”. The organizer of the event, Guiorgui Tabagari, had hoped for a while that the march would be maintained despite the violence to “show that attitudes towards sexual minorities are changing happily in Georgia”.
“We feel growing support from Georgian society and politicians but there are violent homophobic groups,” he told AFP. Several pride marches have already taken place in recent years in Georgia, but the country remains very conservative and under the influence of the powerful Orthodox Church.
The latter had called to meet Monday afternoon for a public prayer against the march. Last week, the United States, the European Union and 16 other countries called on Tbilisi to ensure “the right to peaceful assembly for all people in Georgia without exception.”