GEORGIA

TBILISI PRIDE 2021

Several thousand peaceful protesters gathered against this massive show of violence and homophobia.

It was supposed to be the conclusion of "Pride Week" – a "March of Dignity and for Solidarity" on Rustaveli Prospect in the centre of the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Instead, the 5th of July 2021 will long be remembered as an absolute nadir of intolerance.

The march was put to a violent end before it fully congregated: Already in the morning hours, groups of young men, mostly dressed in black, had gathered at several central points in Tbilisi, laying the basis for an unprecedented outburst of violent beatings. Throughout the day, violent riots flared up in several places. Finally, the march needed to be cancelled.

The violent termination of Tbilisi Pride received international recognition and widespread expressions of solidarity. Several thousand peaceful protesters gathered at Rustaveli Avenue against this massive show of violence and homophobia the very next day. The opposition parties "Girchi - More Freedom", "European Georgia" and various non-governmental organisations had called for the rally, also LGBTQI activists attended the event.

These protests – for freedom of expression and assembly, against homophobia and violence; but also the opposing side – seem to be deeply rooted in the Georgian society and politics. Subjacent to all fights between “traditionalist” and liberal values always lies the political juxtaposition of pro-European/pro-NATO versus pro-Russian alliances.

Protester wrapped in EU and Rainbowflags.

Georgia national flag painted in rainbow colors

These protests – for freedom of expression and assembly, against homophobia and violence; but also the opposing side – seem to be deeply rooted in the Georgian society and politics.

MORE ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS WORK OF THE FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM:

humanrights.freiheit.org