Non-governmental organisation “Tbilisi Pride” announced Pride March to be held on 8 July in Tbilisi, but the organizers posted around 2am on social media that the event was cancelled, as the planned location got leaked to the hate groups.
The organizers explained that the cancellation was “a painful decision”, although it was aimed at showing solidarity to those “who were justifiably decrying Russian occupation and the shameful visit of the Russian MP to Georgia.” They called on the government to ensure security of the marchers.
“The Interior Ministry of Georgia is fully capable of ensuring safe and calm conduct of the Pride March, we hope that the Government of Georgia is fully conscious of the responsibility and will rise to the occasion, so that the safety of each participant is assured,” the statement reads.
As it was the case ahead of June 22, the organizers were not disclosing exact location and time of the event, citing fears of violence from hate groups, who have pledged again to obstruct the march.
Levan Vasadze, the self-styled “knight” who leads homophobic and nativist outlet, called on his male supporters only to gather at 10am to obstruct “the propaganda of filth” and an “offense to the country”, threatening to “drag away” the Pride March participants and oppose police if necessary.
“If it of no import to us, whether they [LGBTI activists] will be accompanied by poor drug addicts, poor foreigners, non-governmental workers or any person which is transgressing the rules and offends our traditions – we will drag all of these people out of there,” Vasadze stated.
Vasadze said LGBTI activists plan to bring arms and “stage provocations”, but, he said, his supporters are “distancing themselves” from “all murder, shooting, knives or violence” and place full responsibility for “any casualties, any tensions” that would “happen there” on the Ministry of Interior.
He added, the the Pride March was the “provocation” by the United National Movement (UNM): “the coup that was planned abroad together with Natsis [derogatory term used to denote UNM – Civil.ge] did not take place, floundered, among other thing due to effort of our people and this [Pride March] is the last provocation.”
The Georgian officials spoke of the “coup” allegedly planned by opposition in relation to June 20-21 events, when dozens were injured.
Read more about Tbilisi Pride developments this year: