The Georgian Patriarchate has reminded demonstrators protesting the Tbilisi Pride march today that their actions ‘must only be peaceful’ after demonstrators demolished tents on Rustaveli Avenue, threw eggs and bottles at several buildings, attacked journalists and broke into the Tbilisi Pride office.
The Patriarchate, which condemned the holding of the Tbilisi Pride march in a previous statement and urged people to take to the street against the Tbilisi Pride march, has stated that ‘they protest the propaganda of sin, but the church prays for everyone, including the Tbilisi Pride participants.’
Violent groups storming the office of Tbilisi Pride, breaking windows and equipment of the members. They announced they will set office to fire. We call on police to react in correspondence with law and arrest violent groups. #TbilisiPride21 pic.twitter.com/sGPcLIy7kN— Tbilisi Pride (@TbilisiPride) July 5, 2021
The Patriarchate said that ‘Christ is love and he encourages love between people,’ adding that any escalation of the situation is unacceptable.
Individuals protesting the Tbilisi Pride march began gathering on Rustaveli Avenue earlier today.
Initially they demolished tents on Rustaveli Avenue which were opened by the opposition in previous days to protest election-related issues.
They accused the opposition of supporting Tbilisi Pride.
Then they threw bottles and eggs at the offices of civic movement Shame and the Tbilisi Pride.
Several demonstrators broke into the Tbilisi Pride office from the balcony.
Tbilisi Pride organisers stated that they are safe because they left the building earlier.
According to media reports about 20 journalists have been attacked by the demonstrators.
Public Defender’s Statement on Events Developing on Rustaveli Avenue https://t.co/q2lx9uUkKE— Ombudsman of Georgia (@Ombudsman_Geo) July 5, 2021
Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria has called on the Interior Ministry to prevent disorder by the demonstrators.
She also said that the recent statement by Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili that the Tbilisi Pride march may lead to civic confrontation further complicated the tension.